Diesel increases MI and stroke risk

Efforts to cut pollution levels by driving diesel rather than petrol cars could be driving up the UK’s risk of MI and stroke, suggest research findings.

Around 40 per cent of cars in the UK run on diesel because it is seen as a greener fuel, being more effective and allowing engines to last longer, said Dr Andrew Lucking, a cardiologist from the University of Edinburgh.

While observational studies have shown a link between air pollution and heart disease, Dr Lucking’s team has now demonstrated that within two hours of exposure to dilute diesel fumes, the risk of clotting increases, thereby raising the risk of a cardiovascular event.

For the study, 20 healthy men aged 21 to 44 years were separately exposed to diluted diesel fumes or filtered air in a specially created chamber, where they exercised intermittently for one to two hours.

The level of diesel exposure – at 300 mg/m3 – was equivalent to that breathed in by someone stuck in stationary traffic in a city, said Dr Lucking.

Two and six hours after exposure, the participants underwent blood tests for thrombotic potential, delegates at the American Heart Association (AHA) scientific sessions in Orlando, Florida, heard.

Clot formation increased by 19-24 per cent at both two and six hours after diesel exposure, compared with filtered air.


More details on the Scientific Sessions 2007 website

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP appointment

General practice delivered 342m appointments in 2022 - and lost nearly 500 GPs

General practice in England delivered around 342m appointments in total in 2022 with...

NHS sign

Local GPs unite to take over two practices run by hospital trust

GPs in Swindon have come together to take over two practices that had spent more...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Why are junior doctors preparing to strike?

Talking General Practice speaks to BMA GP trainee committee chair Dr David Smith...


Practices face losing out on QOF income amid soaring demand

GP practices risk losing out on QOF income this year because sky-high demand for...

Nurse giving older man a COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI recommends targeted COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2023

People at higher risk of severe COVID-19 should be offered a booster vaccination...

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay leaving number 10 Downing Street

Government sets out plans for 'major conditions' health strategy

The government is to set out a strategy to tackle six 'major' health conditions in...