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High-Fat Diet and Pollution Linked to Atherosclerosis

By NIEHS
January 2006

New research shows a clear link between the combination of high-fat diet and fine particulate exposure in the development of atherosclerosis in lab mice. The study may explain why people who live in highly polluted areas have a higher risk of heart disease.

NIEHS and the EPA funded a two-year study, conducted by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the New York University School of Medicine. Mice fed a high-fat diet and exposed to air polluted with fine particulates had 1.5 times more plaque production than mice with the same diet but exposed to clean air, the study showed.

The study appears in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and indicates the combination of fine-particulate exposure and high-fat diet work together to increase the development of atherosclerosis.



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