Cyclists who are already at risk of heart attacks could be in the greatest danger of experiencing one while riding in traffic, a new study has found.
Scientists reviewed 36 pieces of research to identify and rank the "final straw" risk factors in bringing on heart attacks. Tops on the list, published in The Lancet medical journal online: spending time in traffic -- whether as a driver, cyclist or commuter.
"But of these, cyclists are in greatest danger because they are more heavily exposed to pollution and are subjecting themselves to another major heart attack trigger, exercise," reports the UK's Daily Mail, citing the research.
Heart attacks were also found triggered by:
- Traffic exposure, 7.4 percent
- Physical exertion, 6.2 percent
- Overall air pollution, 5 to 7 percent
- Drinking alcohol or coffee, 5 percent
- Negative emotions, 3.9 percent
- Anger, 3.1 percent
- Eating a heavy meal, 2.7 percent
- Positive emotions, 2.4 percent
- Sexual activity, 2.2 percent
- Cocaine use, 0.9 percent
Of those who used cocaine, the risk of having a heart attack rose 23-fold, the review found.
The Daily Mail article consulted a University of Sheffield cardiologist about the review, who stressed that "the foundations of heart disease are laid down over many years."