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Scientists Find A New Way Freeways Are Trying to Kill You

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Not that anyone still thinks living near a freeway is good for your health, but here's more evidence: researchers have just published a study showing that living close to an LA freeway can accelerate thickening in the artery walls. Atherosclerosis, as it's also called, falls under the heart disease umbrella, which is the number one cause of death in the US. The team analyzed five LA-area studies, estimating the outdoor particulate concentration at participants' homes, along with proximity to freeways and main roads. They found artery-thickening progressing at twice the average in people living within 100 meters of a freeway, and connections between particulate matter and artery-thickening were statistically significant for some groups. The study also found that the connection between artery-thickening and living close to a freeway or main road "was substantially larger and statistically significant among the socially deprived (as measured by low income)." According to the LA Times, 1.5 million people live within 300 meters of a freeway in the LA basin. Last year we found out that freeway pollution travels much farther than that--as much as 2,500 meters from the source. [Heart via Wikipedia]
· Ambient Air Pollution and the Progression of Atherosclerosis in Adults [PLoS ONE]
· Live near a freeway? Heart disease risk may be higher [LAT]