A new British Medical Journal study claims air pollution accelerates imminent heart attacks… or rather, it makes that assumption.
Although the researchers only very weakly correlate air pollution monitor readings (not actual exposures to pollution) with heart attack events, they made no effort to determine the actual triggers of any of the heart attacks.
Appallingly, they essentially just assumed that any “extra” heart attack that occurred during a period of increased air pollution was caused by that air pollution. They specifically and blithely rely on,
… The well established effect of air pollution on cardiorespiratory mortality…
But there is no scientific evidence that current ambient air quality has any impact on mortality rates.
Moreover, when we examined the famous 1948 Donora incident, it turned out that, based on autopsies performed, the 20 elderly people who died during that episode were most probably gassed to death.
Though the air in Donora was so bad that street lights were needed during daytime of the 3-day episode, heart attack was not a noted health outcome.
That these researchers did no medical investigation of the deaths in question and instead simply relied on the false equation,
Correlation = Causation
should be quite embarrassing for the epidemiology program at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.