(Kohei Hara/Getty Images)

Nearly a decade’s worth of data collected across Singapore suggests increased concentrations of tiny particles in the air can trigger cardiac arrests, making the need to cut air pollution levels around the world even more urgent.

Researchers looked for particles at least 25 times smaller than the width of a human hair known as PM2.5 particles (for 2.5 micrometers in diameter). Their small size means they can be easily inhaled, and they’ve been linked to a host of health problems, including autoimmune diseases.

Here, pollution levels in Singapore were tracked against more than 18,000 reported cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) between July 2010 and December 2018. Through statistical analysis, 492 of the cases could be attributed to increases in PM2.5 concentrations.

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