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Unformatted text preview: tis. Emphysema is a chronic disorder in which the walls and elasticity of the alveoli are damaged. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of the cells lining the inside of bronchi, which increases the risk of infection and obstructs airflow in and out of the lung. Smoking is responsible for approximately 80% of COPD cases while other forms of air pollution may also influence the development of these diseases. Symptoms include cough, production of mucous and shortness of breath. It is important to note that no cure exists for people suffering from COPD although healthy lifestyle and appropriate medication can help. Lung Cancer - is the most common cause of death due to cancer in women and men. Cigarette smoke contains various carcinogens and is responsible for most cases of this often fatal disease. The symptoms of lung cancer begin silently and then progress to chronic cough, wheezing and chest pain. Air pollution has been linked somewhat weakly to lung cancer. Coronary Artery Disease - refers to the narrowing or blocking of the arteries or blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This disease includes angina and heart attack which share similar symptoms of pain or pressure in the chest. Unlike angina, the symptoms caused by heart attack do not subside with rest and may cause permanent damage to the heart. Smoking, lack of exercise, excess weight, high cholesterol levels in the blood, family history and high blood pressure are some of the factors that may contribute to this disease. Heart Failure - is a condition in which the heart is unable to cope with its work load of pumping blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. The most common cause is severe coronary artery disease. The main symptoms are shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles and feet. Heart-Rhythm Problems - are irregular or abnormal rhythms of the heart beat. In some cases heart-rhythm problems are caused by coroneary artery disease. Symptoms of heart-rhythm problems influttering in the chest (palpitation) and feeling light-headed. Some heart-rhythm problems are life-threatening and need emergency treatment. Pyramid of Health Effects Air pollution can affect both the respiratory and cardiac systems. The health effects of air pollution can be seen as a pyramid, with the mildest but not common effects at the bottom of the pyramid, and the least common but more severe at the top of the pyrami...
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- Spring '08