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C. Exploring the Link Between Air Pollution and Heart Disease in the Elderly

Narrator: This is Science Today. The National Institutes of Health will fund the nation's first public health study to explore the link between ultrafine particles in air pollution and the severity of heart disease in the elderly. Dr. Ralph Delfino, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Irvine will lead the study, which is set to begin next summer in Southern California.

Delfino: It's the first study of its kind to follow elderly subjects with coronary heart disease in relation to personal exposures to ultra-fine particulate matter in the air by actually following individuals repeatedly over time, including a component in which the subjects will wear electrocardiograms and blood pressure monitors.

Narrator: Ultrafine air particles are produced by engine combustion and have been associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease - but there are currently no local and federal regulations for these emissions.

Delfino: There aren't any anticipated for a long time and one of the reasons, of course, is we need more research.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.