More than 18 100 die as a result of conditions caused by air pollution, public broadcaster BNR has said, citing statistics of The Lancet, a British medical journal.
Plovdiv, Pleven, Pazardzhik, Sofia and Pernik are the five cities most affected, according to the figures.
Fine dust particles are of particular concern, being generated not only from the use of coal and road traffic, but from weather conditions such as fogs and lack of wind.
Vanya Yurukova, an internal medicine and pneumology specialist and member of the the Bulgarian Association on Pulmonary diseases’ managing board, is quoted as saying measures such as anti-pollution masks and scarves can be useful to prevent one from exposure to FDP, but are not helpful enough when high level of particle pollution has been registered.
In October, Sofia was ranked as Europe’s most polluted capital by the European Environment Agency.
Days earlier, World Health Organization data revealed Bulgaria was second in the world by deaths per capita caused by air pollution.
Many of the coronary artery disease cases are nowadays thought to be caused by FDP.