If you sit in traffic driving to and from work every day you know how stressful it can be. And, of course, stress can lead to heart problems. But there might be something else connected to your drive to work that can affect your heart.
According to a recent University of Washington study that 'something else' is the air you're breathing in as you're stuck in traffic.
“The study simulated the air you’d be breaking in; the gas you breathe in when fuel burns in cars,” Sports Cardiologist John Higgins at the UT Health Science Center told KTRH.
And Higgins says the results were surprising.
“They found there was a difference in the right ventricle of the heart, the main pumping chamber of the right heart,” Higgins stated.
The difference, specifically, was in the size, which increased. That increase is directly linked to heart disease. So what can you do? Is it as simple as closing your windows?
“It probably helps. Most cars have filtration systems. However, most of the time, these gasses still get through,” Higgins said.
Higgins' advice if you're concerned is to avoid driving in rush hour if you can, find a different way to get to work, or move closer to your job.