May 2, 2007

Study shows effect of diesel exhaust particles on blood flow

Washington, D.C. – A new study finds that exposure to a chemical component of diesel exhaust particles can compromise the ability of resistance arteries to regulate blood flow to bone marrow. Men, post-menopausal females and the elderly are most likely to be affected, according to a new vascular biology study that used an animal model.

The study, presented at the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society, was conducted by researchers at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Cardiovascular Science at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. The research was funded by the Health Effects Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

The study found that particles in diesel fuel combustion can remain airborne for extended time periods, and travel long distances prior to being inhaled. When inhaled, chemical components attached to the particles can interact with the body; the researchers found that in certain populations, exposure to particle pollution may exacerbate various cardiovascular diseases.

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