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The hazards of sitting in traffic

Scope_0316_traffic_cc.jpg

Considering that my morning commute (from San Francisco to Palo Alto) took 20 minutes longer than normal today, news about a study linking traffic and a tripled heart-attack risk is quite timely - and scary! As Coco Ballantyne over at 60-Second Science Blog reports:

The study, released Friday at the American Heart Association's Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention (in Palm Harbor, Fla.), adds weight to a growing body of evidence that traffic hikes heart attack risk, says lead study author Annette Peters, an epidemiologist at the Institute of Epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen in Munich, Germany. The reason? Not sure, Peters says. But she speculates that fine particles spewed from car exhaust pipes are likely culprits.

Ballantyne goes on to say that if you're young and healthy, your added risk is close to zero. But this is still something I'll likely fret about next time I'm stuck in traffic!

Photo by 91RS.

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