Scientists had warned that exhaust fumes from motor vehicles can aggravate heart disease by triggering inflammation and hardening of blood vessels.
Fine particles in exhaust fumes in combination with natural fats in arteries can evolve into a cascading genetic changes capable of inducing cardiovascular atherosclerosis a major case of death in the west.
Significant rise in hospital admissions and deaths from heart disease were noted and it has something to do with greater levels of pollution as the underlying explanation.
Studies had shown that when levels of fine articles released by exhaust fumes in the air by about ten micro grams per cubic meter, deaths from heart disease increases by six percent.
It was noted that arteries began to harden when fats circulating in the bloodstream get trapped in the vessel walls and start to deteriorate through oxidation.
Scientists had suspected that airborne pollution maybe responsible in aggravating the damage.
On the health effects of pollutants, a team of experts took cells sample from the walls of human blood vessels and exposed them to diesel exhaust particles at levels equivalent to those found in cities.
Some of the cells were exposed to blood vessel fats at the same time. The scientists screened the cells to see how their genes reacted to the exposure.
Experimental studies in mice confirmed that breathing in fine particles from exhaust fumes triggered the genetic changes that drive heart disease.
Scientists, however, had said that it is not clear how the pollutants trigger the same, but suggest the chemicals that coat the particles could be to blame.
Tests on diesel particles have revealed their surfaces to be rich of potentially toxic compounds, ranging from organic hydrocarbons to sulphates and nitrates.
A study done for sixty five thousands women residing in thirty six cities across the United States living in a highly polluted areas were at increased risk of heart disease, stroke and death.