13 Aug Ozone and Traffic Pollution May Be Important Contributors to Lung Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, Professor
Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine, and Epidemiology
University of Washington
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Increasingly, it is recognized that chronic lung diseases like emphysema occur in nonsmokers and rates of these diseases are continuing to increase. We really need to understand what’s causing chronic lung disease. Air pollutants are known to make disease worse in people with prior lung disease, but little is known about whether long-term exposure to air pollutants can cause chronic lung disease.
We found that higher residential concentrations of air pollutants—especially ozone and traffic-related air pollutants—are associated with changes in the lung—emphysema-like changes in the lung. The associations were strong and suggest that air pollution may be an important contributor to chronic lung disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: This study suggests that air pollution exposures that are common and hard to avoid might be a major contributor to the development of common chronic lung disease. Ozone concentrations are increasing as a result of climate change and fossil fuel use—these are things that need to be addressed by changes at the community, national, and global scale in order to prevent health impacts like these.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research needs to focus on how best to reduce these exposures cost-effectively and make sure that all people have the opportunity to benefit from these pollution reduction.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This research was supported by unrestricted grants from the National Institutes of Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Wang M, Aaron CP, Madrigano J, et al. Association Between Long-term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Change in Quantitatively Assessed Emphysema and Lung Function. JAMA. 2019;322(6):546–556. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.10255
The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.