It turns out that clogged interstates may contribute to clogged arteries. ucirvine graduate researcher Sharine Wittkopp looks at how the increased air pollution caused by vehicle congestion causes blood pressure to rise and arteries to inflame, increasing incidents of heart attack and stroke.

Wittkoop’s data can provide policymakers and the public with a fuller picture of the impact of emissions.

I hope that an awareness of this problem will help strengthen policies designed to decrease emissions and reduce exposure-associated heart disease risk.

Keep up the great work, Sharine! As UC President Janet Napolitano recently said, “graduate students and post-docs are the essential links between teaching for California and researching for the world.”

* Great illustration created by ucresearch producer, Jess Wheelock