LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This should make you appreciate living in Lubbock, where traffic isn't too bad. A German study has linked heavy traffic to heart attacks.
However, they have found that it is cumulative. In other words, the more time you spend behind the wheel, the more likely you are to have one. The American Heart Association published the study and they found that, even if you are not the driver, people exposed to heavy traffic trouble are at risk. It's not just the stress of being in heavy traffic but also exposure to pollution.
Dr. Mark Turco of the Center for Cardiac and Vascular Research says, "The air particulate matter and the pollution itself actually can increase the inflammation of the blood vessels, therefore increasing the development of plaque that forms and all of the factors that may predispose to underlying heart attacks".
Dr. Turco says it's worth the effort to make driving more relaxing by doing things like using scented air fresheners in your car and whenever possible, take the scenic route.