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Heavy traffic may trigger heart attacks

People at risk of heart attacks should steer clear of traffic, a new study suggests. Researchers in Germany have found that exposure to traffic can dramatically increase a person's risk of having a heart attack soon afterward.

The researchers analyzed the medical records of 691 heart attack survivors in Augsburg, in southern Germany, during a recent 30-month period. After surveying the study volunteers about their activities up to 4 days before a heart attack, the researchers found that a person's risk of being stricken nearly tripled in the hour after being in traffic. Lead author Annette Peters of the GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health in Neuherberg says that she and her colleagues were "surprised by the size" of the increased risk.

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