How pollution levels rise increases the number of strokes

3년 전

Introduction

Stroke has been found to be a major cause of deaths in the world; ranking at number two, second to heart diseases, which is the number one cause of deaths globally. It affects the patients in terrible ways, causing them to lose control of their bowel and bladder in some cases, suffer paralysis in one or both sides of their body, difficulty or total inability to make movement in body parts e.g. leg, face, arm etc.

Unfortunately, such an unpleasant medical problem has been associated with pollution; in which case, pollution is not an easy problem to control. In this article, I would be discussing with us how pollution is unfortunately connected to increase in strokes. So guys, let's go...

Atrial_fib_stroke.jpg

[Stroke. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH). CC-PD-Mark Licensed]

Pollution

This is the introduction of substances, either solid, liquid or gas into the environment; it can also involve the introduction of different forms of energy, which may include sounds, heat, or radioactivity into the environment at a higher rate than the environment can convert to harmless form. There are various kinds of pollution, including water pollution, air pollution, and land pollution.

In recent times, the world has also become concerned about some other types of pollution, which include light pollution, plastic pollution and noise pollution. Pollution has been related to mankind for a long time. It's been known that since the time human beings started living together and staying in a particular place for a long time, pollution has been a part of humankind.

Of a truth, when researchers are searching for ancient places where humans settled, they usually identify such places by their pollutants- in which case, they see moulds as well as rubble heaps and so on. So long as there was enough space for people, pollution was hardly a problem. But as time went by, humans started making permanent settlements, containing large numbers of individuals; from that time, pollution started becoming an issue of concern.

It's been found that big settlements of ancient times were often dirty places, oozing with human waste products. The problem of pollution increased from the time when people started using coal for fuel as well as converting it to coke for smelting. As a result of pollution, it has been found that the big settlements in ancient times experienced outbreaks of diseases including plague, typhoid fever as well as cholera. Pollution became a very serious problem, in fact, it became a worldwide problem since industrialization came into the picture.

In the nineteen sixties, humans became aware of the importance of protecting our environment from pollution of any kind. Hence, different organizations were created to help manage and control environmental pollution.

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[Pollution smoke. Source: Pixabay. Author: byrev. CCO Creative Commons. Licensed]

How air pollution is related to global warming

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the chief cause of global warming. Other greenhouse gases and air pollutants (e.g. dust, smoke etc) also cause global warming. They make the planet hotter, as a result of the fact that they absorb radiation and sunlight that would have hit the earth's surface and moved back off. The radiation and sunlight that would have easily been bounced off into outer space are unfortunately absorbed by these air pollutants in the atmosphere for a very long time, which can run into hundreds of years.

This increase in the heat of planet earth is called the greeenhouse effect. Hence, we can say that global waarming is heat absorbed around earth as a result of the greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. It's been found that these air pollutants are produced from houses, factories, cars, power plants etc., as a result of the burning of fuels, which may include natural gas, gasoline, coal, oil etc.

Global warming has led to severe storms that have destroyed houses, towns and cities, acid rains that are destroying aquatic lives, bad air leading to many cases of asthma in children, rising of sea levels, leading to flooding and destruction of lives and properties, therefore leading to so many health issues, economic issues, as well as environmental issues and so on.

As a result of the fact that the greenhouse gases absorb heat in earth's atmosphere, this has led to an increase in the temperatures which has led to climate change- in which case unfavorable weather conditions are experienced, sea levels rise, increase the number of deaths associated with heat, and has led to increase in the spread of diseases.

It's been found that carbon dioxide is responsible for about eighty per cent of the global warming, and methane has been found to cause about eleven per cent of the global warming the world is experiencing. As I mentioned above, carbon dioxide is produced from burning of fossil fuels basically, and methane is produced from industries and some from natural sources, some are emitted during gas drilling.

It's been found that although carbon dioxide is more produced or emitted, methane is far more dangerous, being that it absorbs more heat than carbon dioxide. There's another greenhouse gas that has been found to be far more dangerous than both carbon dioxide and methane, this is hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs). It's been found to trap heat thousands of times more than CO2.

As a result of how powerful hydro-fluorocarbons are in absorbing heat, many countries around the world, came to an agreement to diminish the usage of HFCs; which has been found to be used in refrigerators as well as air conditioners. They agreed that another alternative should be found; as the world couldn't continue to release more harmful HFCs into the atmosphere.

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[Global warming greenhouse effect. Source: Pixabay. Author: lesserland. CCO Creative Commons. Licensed]

Stroke

This attacks the brain. Stroke occurs when there's blockage of blood supply to the brain. Stroke is the number five cause of deaths in the U.S. It has been found that about eight hundred thousand people suffer stroke annually. Strokes lead to the death of brain cells as a result of the fact the when stroke occurs, there is a decline in the oxygen as well as nutrients supplied to the brain.

It's been found that in the United States, forty per cent of death cases as a result of stroke are men, and sixty per cent have been found to be women. Hence, more women die from stroke in the U.S.

There are different causes of stroke; the ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. it is paramount that the type of stroke is known as quickly as possible to control the brain damage as well as because the treatment for one cause of stroke is different from that of the other. It would be an error to treat a patient suffering from one cause of stroke with medications for the other.

Ischemic stroke

These are caused by blockage or narrowing of the blood vessels, hence when treating patients that suffered from ischemic stroke, the main aim is to restore the normal blood supply to the brain. The treatment involves the use of drugs that dissolve clots and help to avoid any other clotting. So that blood can flow adequately into the brain.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This stroke is caused as a result of the bursting or leaking of blood vessels; in which case, there would be spillage of blood in the brain, which causes inflammation and pressure in the brain; thereby leading to the death of brain cells.

The treatment involves the use of drugs to control the stress in the brain, to manage the blood pressure as well as prevent the bursting or leaking of blood vessels. There are indications that show that an individual may be suffering from stroke; they include- communication problems, confusion, comprehension problems, headache, a change in the individuals overall consciousness, difficulty or complete inability to move body parts e.g. the legs, arm, face; this is usually seen to affect one side of the individual's body.

In some cases, they may have problems with their vision, which may affect one eye or both. They may have walking problems, inadequacy in co-ordination and sometimes dizziness. Unfortunately, on top of the long list of problems I mentioned above, that stroke patients may suffer; they may also have issues with controlling their bowel as well as bladder, they may suffer depression, and problems handling their emotions.

Stroke_ischemic.jpg
[Stroke ischemic. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: National Heart Lung and Blood Insitute (NIH). CC-PD-Mark. Licensed]

The relationship between pollution levels rise and number of strokes

Research has found that the continuous rise in the levels of pollution is connected to a greater number of strokes. Researchers have come to say that this goes on to further confirm the large number of evidences that are pointing at the fact that global warming and the quality of air play a great role in the spread of diseases worldwide.

The research made use of information from China and the United States. It stands as one of the very first research works to look into the relationship between the number of strokes and the quality of air, plus the role temperature plays in the interaction. The reason why the researchers used both countries mentioned above is that they are the two countries that emit the largest amount of greenhouse gases in the world. The United States and China contribute 66% of the global warming in the world.

It has also been found that temperature has a great effect on the risk of suffering a stroke attack and the general quality of air. In recent times, the world has been seeing sudden changes in seasons, which can be very well connected or linked to climate changes. In which case, there have been many records of heavy rainfall in summer; which actually leads to the spread of air pollution.

As a result of air pollutants e.g. carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming; hence the rise in temperatures, which have been found to increase the risk of an individual having stroke. Therefore, the temperature rise, caused by global warming has been found to increase the number of strokes.

Making stroke the major cause of deaths in the U.S., leading to the death of about one hundred and twenty nine thousand people annually. Hence, making stroke the chief cause of disability in the U.S. and the number two cause of deaths all around the world, directly behind diseases related to the heart, which stand as the number one cause of deaths globally. It has also been found that China suffers same; having thousands upon thousands of people dying of strokes annually. The research found that the United States and China have the highest number of strokes in the world because of the fact that they are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, hence the connection between air pollution and the number of strokes.

It's very unfortunate that patients don't have any control over the quality of air. This research provides reasons for leaders around the world and policy makers to create better ways of handling global warming and the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere. So that people can live better lives.

Conclusion

Hello guys, we've been able to discuss what pollution is, how pollution is related to global warming, and then we moved on to discussing stroke, the different causes of stroke, and the fact that different causes of stroke require different treatments.

We also discussed the relationship between pollution levels rise and the number of stroke cases; in which case, we discussed how air pollution (CO2, Methane, HFCs etc) leads to global warming, which then leads to increase in the number of strokes. Which is evident, as the two countries that emit the largest amount of greenhouse gases have been found to have the highest number of strokes in the world.

Thanks for reading!

References

  1. How does air pollution affect global warming?

  2. Everything you need to know about stroke

  3. Hemorrhagic stroke

  4. Pollution britannica

  5. Number of strokes increase as pollution levels rise

Image Sources

All images used here are from free sources and liable for commercial use
all licensed under the Creative Commons.

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Upvoted now. Gonna read this later as I'm less busy. It looks nourishing. Gotta have a taste.

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It looks nourishing

Hope you enjoy the 'taste'!!!

@starrichie, I love the way you relate the rise in pollution to an increase in stroke. It's detailed.

Thanks, bro for the enlightenment.

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I'm really glad you found this article enlightening. Thanks a lot for coming around bro!!



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This is a very helpful article @starrichie. The various consequences of pollution in relation to different scenarios, are really an eye opener to me. Never knew of this.

Thanks for sharing

@sciencetech

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I'm glad that you found this article helpful. Thanks for coming around!!

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I'm glad that you found
This article helpful. Thanks
For coming around!!

                 - starrichie


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