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Posted Tue May 18 2010: from Environmental Health News:
Rat study shows stress worsens air pollution health effects
Two distinct exposures - one environmental and one social - can act on rats to significantly alter the immune system and increase respiratory problems where one of them alone would not, researchers report. The animal study found that higher exposures to traffic-related air pollution were associated with a rapid, shallow breathing pattern only among chronically stressed rats. This is the first toxicological study to examine how chronic stress modifies the effect of fine particle air pollution on respiratory function. The findings suggest that changes in the immune and inflammatory responses of stressed rats may play a role in making them more susceptible to effects of air pollution. The results are consistent with human studies that report stronger health effects of air pollution among those who experience higher levels of social stressors, such as exposure to violence. This work may shed insight on existing health disparities since lower income populations often experience higher levels of environmental exposures and social stressors.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants, health impacts, koyaanisqatsi]

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'Doc Jim says:
Rats stress me out and so do the studies that use them!

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