More than 91 percent of the world's population lives in areas that exceed air quality guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization, and more people are impacted by worsening air quality each year.
More than 91 percent of the world's population lives in areas that exceed air quality guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization, and more people are impacted by worsening air quality each year. Ambient air pollution – including potentially harmful pollutants such as small particles and toxic gases emitted by industries, households, cars and trucks – has been shown to worsen viral respiratory infections. Now, new studies are showing a similar association between ambient air pollution and worse COVID-19 outcomes.
In a new commentary reviewing current research on the potential relationships among pollution, respiratory viruses and health disparities, physician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) discuss several ways that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to address the global problem of air pollution and improve respiratory health and equity worldwide. The commentary appears in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
"A multitude of studies show that exposure to higher long-term ambient air pollution is associated with both increased risk of infection and death from COVID-19," said corresponding author Stephen Andrew Mein, MD, a physician in BIDMC's Department of Medicine. "Historically, air pollution has been linked with worse health outcomes, including higher mortality, due to other respiratory viruses like influenza. Now, new research on COVID-19 adds further evidence of the adverse effects of ambient air pollution and the urgent need to address the public health crisis of pollution."
Read more at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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