Ambient air quality and the risk of acute myocardial infarction among urban dwellers in Fiji
Ambient air pollution isa major environmental health risk factor and globally, it is estimated that at least seven million deaths are attributable to the effects of air pollution on an annual basis. In developing countries in the Western Pacific Region such as Fiji, major sources of air pollution are from the exhaust emissions from motor vehicles, burning of wastes and industrial activities. Countries in this region are also experiencing an intense process of urbanization resulting in the increasing number of vehicles on the road together with a vibrant agricultural practice that often leads to an increased burning of wastes. Despite these known sources of pollution, there is no evidence-based data delineating the relative contribution of these pollution sources in Fiji.
Epidemiological studies have shown that increased emissions from motor vehicles and industrial activities are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease is quite common in Fiji and in 2016, ischaemic heart disease which includes heart diseases such as angina and myocardial infarction was ranked as the second most cause of all premature deaths in Fiji. To get a basic understanding of how air pollution may affect the cardiovascular health in Fiji, this study will attempt to investigate the association between air pollution and acute myocardial infarction hospitalisation in the city of Lautoka.
Subsequently, a meta-analysis of the literature on the association between air pollution and acute cardiovascular infarction will be conducted and the risk estimates from the selected studies summarized. Values on the criteria pollutants from these selected studies will be obtained and based on the pooled risk estimates and the exposure assessment, a risk assessment of air pollution for heart diseases will then be conducted.