Air Pollution Linked To Increased Mortality, Especially In Developing Cities

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Longjian Liu, M.D., Ph.D. MSc (LSHTM), FAHA

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Dornsife School of Public Health, and
Adjunct Associate Professor,
College of Medicine
Drexel University
Nesbitt Hall-RM515, 3215 Market ST
Philadelphia PA, 19104 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This is an international collaborative project, supported by Drexel Office of International Programs, and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The main findings are air pollution has posted a serious public health issue in China, specifically in urban cities.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Air pollution is an international issue, we must take action, specifically in developing counties with rapid urbanization, like China.  

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Air Pollution Related Deaths Concentrated Among Minorities and the Poor

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Air Pollution, Beijing

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
Dean for Global Health
Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics
Arnhold Institute for Global Health
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  1.  Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today.  It is responsible for 9 million deaths per year – 16% of all deaths worldwide – three times more deaths than AIDS, malaria and TB combined.  These numbers are growing from year to year as pollution in many parts of the world increase.
  2. Pollution is highly unjust. 92% of all pollution-related deaths occur in low-and middle- income countries, and in the United States and other high-income countries pollution-related disease and death are concentrated among minorities and the poor.  Think Flint.
  3. Pollution is very costly.  Pollution-related diseases cause productivity losses that reduce GDP in low- and middle-income countries by up to 2% per year. Pollution-related disease also results in health-care costs that are responsible for 1.7% of annual health spending in high-income countries like the US and for up to 7% of health spending in heavily polluted and rapidly developing low- and middle-income countries.
  4. Pollution is neglected and its control is seriously underfunded.
  5. The good news is that despite its great magnitude and long-standing neglect, pollution can be controlled, and pollution prevention is highly cost-effective. Pollution is not the inevitable consequence of economic development. High-income and some middle-income countries have enacted legislation and issued regulations mandating clean air and clean water, established chemical safety policies, and curbed their most flagrant forms of pollution. As a result, our air and water are now cleaner, the blood lead concentrations of our children have decreased by more than 90%, our rivers no longer catch fire, our worst hazardous waste sites have been remediated, and many of our cities are less polluted and more livable. Health has improved and people are living longer. High-income countries have achieved this progress while increasing GDP by nearly 250%. The claim that pollution control stifles economic growth, kills jobs and drags down the economy is false and has repeatedly been proven to be untrue. Pollution control is a winnable battle, and the control of pollution will return billions of dollars to the economies of countries around the world as it has already in the United States.

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Ozone Air Pollution Linked To US Deaths, Even At Levels Below Current Safety Standards

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Qian Di, M.S, Doctoral Student
Department of Environmental Health and
Francesca Dominici, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of this study
Professor of Biostatistics
co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Clean Air Act requires Environmental Protection Agency to set National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Currently the annual NAAQS for PM2.5 is 12 microgram per cubic meter; and there is no annual or seasonal ozone standard. However, is current air quality standard stringent enough to protect human health? This is our main motivation.

We conducted the largest attainable cohort study, including over 60 million Medicare participants, to investigate the association between long-term exposure to ozone/PM2.5 and all-cause mortality.

We found significant harmful effect of PM2.5 even below current NAAQS. Each 10 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM2.5 is associated with 13.6% (95% CI: 13.1%~14.1%) increase in all-cause mortality. For ozone, 10 ppb increase in ozone exposure is associated with 1.1% (95% CI: 1.0%~1.2%) increase in mortality. Also, there is no appreciable level below which mortality risk tapered off. In other words, there is no “safe” level for PM2.5 and ozone.

In other words, if we would reduce the annual average of PM2.5 by just 1 microgram per cubic meter nationwide, we should save 12,000 lives among elder Americans every year; 5 microgram — 63,817 lives every year. Similarly, if we would reduce the annual summer average of ozone by just 1 ppb nationwide, we would save 1,900 lives every year; 5 ppb — 9537 lives.

Besides, we found black people, males and people of low SES are more vulnerable to air pollution.

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Western US Smog Increasingly Due To Asian Emissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Meiyun Lin PhD Research Scholar NOAA and Princeton University’s Cooperative Institute for Climate Science

Dr. Meiyun Lin

Dr. Meiyun Lin PhD
Research  Scholar
NOAA and Princeton University’s Cooperative Institute for Climate Science

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, has climbed in the rural West over the past 25 years, even in such seemingly pristine places as Yellowstone National Park. We have found out why – and why cutting our own output of smog-forming chemicals such as nitrogen oxides by 50% hasn’t helped. This study found that increased pollution from Asia, which has tripled its nitrogen oxide emissions since 1990, contribute to the persistence of smog in the West.

While ozone in the eastern U.S. has decreased overall, the levels can spike during heat waves, characterized by large-scale air stagnation, warm temperatures, and plentiful radiation needed for ozone formation locally. As heat waves appears to be on the rise due to global climate change, progress in reducing smog in the eastern US is likely to be slower in the coming decades.

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Air Pollution Linked To Millions of Preterm Births

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chris Malley PhD The Stockholm Environment Institute University of York

Dr. Chris Malley

Chris Malley PhD
The Stockholm Environment Institute
University of York

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: When a baby is born preterm (at less than 37 weeks of gestation, an indicator of premature birth), there is an increased risk of infant death, or long-term physical and neurological disabilities. For example, 965,000 infant deaths in 2013 (35% of all neonatal deaths) have been estimated to be due to preterm birth complications. In 2010, an estimated 14.9 million births were preterm – about 4–5% of the total in some European countries, but up to 15–18% in some African and South Asian countries. The human and economic costs are enormous.

There are many risk factors for preterm birth – from the mother’s age, to illness, to poverty and other social factors. Recent research has suggested that exposure to air pollution could also be a risk factor. Our study quantifies for the first time the global impact of pregnant women’s exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates.

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Living Near Major Roads Associated With Increased Dementia Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hong Chen, PhD Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Toronto, ON

Dr. Hong Chen

Hong Chen, PhD
Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment
Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario
Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Toronto, ON

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the past several decades, there is unequivocal evidence that living close to major roadways may lead to various adverse health outcomes, such as cardio-respiratory related mortality and mortality. In the past decade, concern is growing that exposures associated with traffic such as air pollution and noise may also have an adverse impact on brain health. Several experimental studies show that air pollutants and diesel exhaust induce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, activate microglia (which act as the first and main form of immune defense in the central nervous system), and stimulate neural antibodies. There are also a small number of epidemiological studies linking traffic-related noise and air pollution to cognitive decline and increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies also showed that living near roads was associated with reduced white matter hyperintensity volume and cognition, but its effect on the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis is unknown. Given hundreds of millions of people worldwide live close to major roads, we conducted this population-based cohort study to investigate the association between residential proximity to major roadways and the incidence of these three neurological diseases in Ontario, Canada.

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Air Pollution May Shorten Lung Cancer Survival

Sandrah P. Eckel PhD Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine USC Division of Biostatistics

Dr. Sandrah Eckel

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sandrah P. Eckel PhD
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine
USC Division of Biostatistics

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Lung cancer is the most common cancer and it is responsible for 1 in 5 cancer deaths. There is a growing body of evidence that ambient air pollution exposures are linked to lung cancer incidence and mortality, but the effect on survival of exposures after diagnosis are unclear. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified ambient air pollution as carcinogenic. We reasoned that if air pollution drives lung cancer development, it could impact lung cancer progression—and shorten survival—through the same biological pathways.

We used 20 years of data on more than 300,000 newly diagnosed lung cancer cases from the California Cancer Registry and calculated average air pollution exposures at each patient’s residence from the date of diagnosis through the end of follow-up. We found that patients living in areas with higher pollution levels had shorter survival, particularly for patients who were diagnosed at an early stage and for those diagnosed at an early stage with adenocarcinoma histology. Interestingly, adenocarcinoma is the most common histological subtype of lung cancer in non-smokers.

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Air Pollutants Linked To Risk of Myocardial Infarction

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marko Mornar Jelavic, MD, PhD Department for Internal Medicine and Dialysis Health Center Zagreb Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Marko Mornar Jelavic

Marko Mornar Jelavic, MD, PhD
Department for Internal Medicine and Dialysis
Health Center Zagreb
Zagreb, Croatia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia which is placed in South-Eastern Europe. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area has the total population of up to 1.2 million (20% of the total Croatia’s population). The climate of Zagreb is classified as a humid continental. The average daily mean temperature in winter is around +1 °C (from December to February) and the average temperature in summer is 22.0 °C.

For the first time, we wanted to investigate whether particles of dimensions ≤10 micrometers (PM10) nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3), as well as certain meteorological conditions (air temperature, humidity and pressure) have any impact on appearance of myocardial infarction (MI) in the region with a humid continental climate.
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Air Pollution Linked to Increase in Hypertension Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tao Liu Ph.D
Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Hypertension is the most important cause of disability and the leading risk factor for death globally and causes approximately 16.5% of all deaths. Since the 1990s, many epidemiological studies have investigated the associations between air pollution exposure and hypertension, the two most common public health concerns. However, their results remain controversial. Some studies found an association between them, while other studies sowed either no association or an association only for selected pollutants. In order to quantitatively synthesize and interpret these inconsistent and controversial results, here we used a new analysis method (Meta-analysis) to combine results from different previous studies to estimate the overall effect of every air pollutant on hypertension. This is the first study to simultaneously estimate the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to air pollutants on hypertension by meta-analysis. These results could provide more explicit information for policy decisions and clinical use.

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Harmful Effects of Air Pollution Can Last Decades

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Rebecca Ghosh, Research Associate Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health Imperial College London St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, Londo

Dr. Rebecca Ghosh

Dr Rebecca Ghosh, Research Associate 
Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU)
MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health
Imperial College London
St Mary’s Campus, Norfolk Place, London 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Ghosh: Since the 1950s a lot of evidence has accumulated that high levels of air pollution cause harmful effects on health.  However there is limited evidence on the very long term (>25 years) effects of air pollution.  Our study is one of the longest running to date looking at air pollution and mortality, following 368,000 people in England and Wales for 38 years.  We estimated air pollution exposures throughout England & Wales for 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 using data from historic air pollution monitoring networks, the first time this has been done.

We found that air pollution exposure in 1971 was still associated with a small increased risk of death in 2002-9, over 30 years later, suggesting that harmful effects of air pollution are extremely long-lasting.  However, risks from an individual’s past exposures waned over time and their more recent exposures gave the highest mortality risks.

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Indoor Air Purifiers Reduce Cardiopulmonary Effects Of Severe Air Pollution

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Renjie Chen PhD and Dr. Haidong Kan, PhD
School of Public Health, Key Lab of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although several previous studies in developed countries with cleaner air have reported health benefits due to air filtration, no such interventional studies were conducted in a developing country with much severer air pollution problems. Our main findings suggested that even a short-term intervention (2 days) could significantly reduce indoor air pollution and improve cardiopulmonary health among healthy young adults. Continue reading

Increased Air Pollution Linked To More Strokes, Smaller Brain Volumes

Elissa Hope Wilker, Sc.D. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elissa Hope Wilker, Sc.D.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research
Harvard Medical School

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Wilke: Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with cerebrovascular disease and cognitive impairment, but the impact on structural changes in the brain is not well understood. We studied older adults living in the greater Boston area and throughout New England and New York and we looked at the air pollution levels and how far they lived from major roads. We then linked this information to findings from MRI studies of structural brain images. Although air pollution levels in this area are fairly low compared to levels observed in other parts of the world, we found that people who lived in areas with higher levels of air pollution had smaller brain volumes, and higher risk of silent strokes. The magnitude of association that we observed for a 2 µg/m3 increase in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) (a range commonly observed across urban areas) was approximately equivalent to one year of brain aging. The association with silent strokes is of concern, because these are associated with increased risk of overt strokes, walking problems, and depression.

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Anxiety Symptoms Raised by Air Pollution

Melinda C Power, ScD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Epidemiology Department, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Neurology Department, Johns Hopkins School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Melinda C Power, ScD
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Epidemiology Department, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Neurology Department, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Power: Air pollution may be related to mental health, particularly anxiety, through effects on oxidative stress and systemic inflammation or through promotion or aggravation of chronic diseases.  However, there has been very little research on the relation between air pollution exposures and anxiety in people.   Our study found that those with higher exposures to fine particulate matter, a type of air pollution, were more likely to experience elevated anxiety symptom levels.  Our study also suggests that recent exposures to find particulate matter air pollution are potentially more relevant to anxiety symptom levels than long-term past exposures.

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Prenatal Exposure To Air Pollutants May Produce Structural Brain Abnormalities

Dr. Bradley S. Peterson, M.D Director of the Institute for the Developing Mind The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Children’s Hospital Los AngelesMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Bradley S. Peterson, M.D
Director of the Institute for the Developing Mind
The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital
Los Angeles Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Peterson: Neurotoxic PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are ubiquitous in the environment, in the home and in the workplace. Emissions from motor vehicles, oil and coal burning for home heating or power generation, wildfires and agricultural burning, hazardous waste sites, tobacco smoke and charred foods are all sources of exposure. PAH readily crosses the placenta and affects an unborn child’s brain; earlier animal studies showed that prenatal exposure impaired the development of behavior, learning and memory. Our group previously reported that exposure to airborne PAH during gestation was associated with multiple neurodevelopmental disturbances, including development delay by age 3, reduced verbal IQ at age 5, and symptoms of anxiety and depression at age 7.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Peterson: Together with Virginia Rauh, ScD and Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, we conducted a brain imaging study to test the effects on brain structure of PAH exposure during the final trimester of pregnancy.  We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the brains of 40 children from a cohort of more than 600 mother-baby pairs from minority communities in New York City. These 40 children were carefully selected to have no other exposures that would affect brain development. Our findings showed that prenatal PAH exposure led to reductions in nearly the entire white matter surface of the brain’s left hemisphere – losses that were associated with slower processing of information during intelligence testing and more severe behavioral problems, including ADHD and aggression.  Postnatal PAH exposure – measured at age 5 – was found to contribute to additional disturbances in development of white matter in the dorsal prefrontal region of the brain, a portion of the brain that supports concentration, reasoning, judgment, and problem-solving ability. Continue reading

Air Pollution Linked To Increased Risk Of Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Anoop Shah

Cardiology Research fellow
Centre of Cardiovascular sciences
University Of Edinburgh Edinburgh

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Stroke accounts for five million deaths each year and is a major cause of disability. The incidence of stroke is increasing, particularly in low and middle income countries, where two thirds of all strokes occur. The global burden of stroke related disability is therefore high and continues to rise. This has been primarily attributed to an aging population in high income countries and the accumulation of risk factors for stroke, such as smoking, hypertension, and obesity, in low and middle income countries.  The impact of environmental factors on morbidity and mortality from stroke, however, might be important and is less certain.

From 103 studies and across 6.2 million fatal and non-fatal strokes, our findings suggest a strong association between short term exposure to both gaseous (except ozone) and particulate air pollution, and admissions to hospital for stroke or mortality from stroke. These associations were strongest in low and middle income countries, suggesting the need for policy changes to reduce personal exposure to air pollutants especially in highly polluted regions.
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Air Pollution May Raise Risk Of Carotid Artery Stenosis

Jonathan D. Newman, MD, MPH Instructor of Medicine The Leon H Charney Division of Cardiology and The Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease New York University School of Medicine NY, NY 10016MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jonathan D. Newman, MD, MPH
Instructor of Medicine
The Leon H Charney Division of Cardiology and
The Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
New York University School of Medicine
NY, NY 10016

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Newman: Outdoor fine air pollution (PM2.5 defined as mass concentration of particles < 2.5µM) is ubiquitous and associated with cardiovascular mortality, ischemic heart disease events and stroke.   There are known vascular and hemodynamic effects of air pollution exposure that may explain some, but not all, of this increased risk.  However, prior to this study it was unknown whether fine particle air pollution exposure is associated with prevalent clinical atherosclerosis, such as carotid artery stenosis.

For the first time we examined the association between fine particle air pollution exposure and carotid artery stenosis in over 300,000 people living in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  Working with colleagues in Environmental Medicine from NYU Langone Medical Center, we used data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System to estimate the average annual fine particle air pollution by zip code in the tri-state area.  Air pollution data was then associated with the results of vascular screening tests from tristate residents age 40-80 participating in the Life Line Vascular Screening  (LLS, Independence, Ohio).

After adjusting for the effects of known cardiovascular disease risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and physical inactivity, we found that each 10µg/m3 increase in air pollution exposure was associated with a nearly two-fold increase in risk of carotid artery stenosis (OR 1.90, 95% CI (1.35-2.66).  Similarly, compared to the lower levels of air pollution exposure, participants in the highest fourth of air pollution exposure had a 24% increased risk in carotid artery stenosis (OR 1.24 95% CI 1.11-1.37).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Newman: Our study shows that air pollution exposure has important vascular effects, even at lower levels of exposure.  It also shows that these effects are independent of known strong risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Our findings support public health and governmental initiatives to limit and/or reduce air pollution exposure, and also indicate that it may be prudent for individuals with high risk of cardiovascular disease such as people with prior known heart disease, strokes, diabetes or vascular disease to limit the time spent outdoors when indices of air quality are poor.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Newman: Future studies need to investigate the specific components of air pollution that are associated with vascular disease risk, and to better characterize populations of individuals that – such as people with diabetes – that may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease with air pollution exposure.  Finally, our study also supports future research into novel strategies to reduce or ameliorate the vascular risks of environmental exposures.

Citation:

Presented at ACC15 and

Particulate Air Pollution and Carotid Artery Stenosis
Jonathan D. Newman, MD, MPH; George D. Thurston, ScD; Kevin Cromar, PhD; Yu Guo, MA; Caron B. Rockman, MD; Edward A. Fisher, MD, PhD; Jeffrey S. Berger, MD, MS

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(11):1150-1151. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.12.052

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan D. Newman, MD, MPH (2015). Air Pollution May Raise Risk Of Carotid Artery Stenosis 

Nanoparticle Pollution Worse At Red Lights

Dr. Prashant Kumar PhD (Cantab), MTech, BEng, FHEA, FCPS, FCCT, CEng(IEI), MIEnvSc, MIAQM, MIAAPC Senior Lecturer in Wind Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (C5) Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences University of Surrey, GuildfordMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Prashant Kumar PhD (Cantab), MTech, BEng, FHEA, FCPS,
FCCT, CEng(IEI), MIEnvSc, MIAQM, MIAAPC
Senior Lecturer in Wind Engineering
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (C5)
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
University of Surrey, Guildford

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Kumar: Pollution is disproportionately spread in urban areas due to scattered mobile and stationary sources. Exhaust emissions from vehicles are one of the major sources of air pollution in urban areas. When vehicles stop at red lights, they go through different driving cycles such as idling, acceleration and deceleration. At the same time, a number of other vehicles are also queuing at red lights, emitting further emissions – these emissions take more time to disperse, especially in built-up areas, and end up accumulating in the air at traffic lights. In our study, we found that because drivers were decelerating and stopping at lights, then revving up to move quickly when lights go green, peak particle concentration was 29 times higher than that during free flowing traffic conditions. We also found that while drivers spent just two per cent of their journey time passing through traffic intersections managed by lights, that short duration contributes to about 25 per cent of their total exposure to these harmful particles.

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Air Pollution Linked to Greater Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Raanan Raz, PhD
Visiting Scientist
Harvard School of Public Health

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Raz: Air pollution contains various toxicants that have been found to be associated with neurotoxicity and adverse effects on the fetus in utero. Several studies have explored associations of air pollution with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with autism spectrum disorders with higher exposures to diesel particulate matter (PM), criteria pollutants and some organic materials as well as closer proximity to a freeway.

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Air Pollution Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Childhood Lung Function Risk

Medical Research Interview with:
Eva Morales, MD, PhD, MPH
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)
Barcelona Biomedical Research Park
Barcelona, Spain

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Morales: We aimed to assess the consequences of exposure to outdoor air pollution during specific trimesters of pregnancy and postnatal lifetime periods on lung function in preschool children. We conducted a longitudinal study by using data from 620 mother-child pairs participating in the INfancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Project – a population-based cohort study set up in several geographic areas in Spain. We found that exposure to outdoor air pollution during the second trimester of pregnancy in particular raises the risk of harm to a child’s lung function at preschool age. Continue reading

Smokers’ Homes Have High Air Pollution Levels

Dr. John Cherrie PhD Honorary Professor in Occupational Hygiene Institute of Applied Health Sciences Aberdeen, UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. John Cherrie PhD
Honorary Professor in Occupational Hygiene
Institute of Applied Health Sciences
Aberdeen, UK


Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Cherrie: We set out to bring together measurements of fine particle levels in homes where smoking takes place, to compare these with smoke-free homes and then to estimate how much of these fine particles are inhaled by people at different stages in their life. We also wanted to look at the exposure to particles of non-smokers living with smokers and compare this with the exposure of people living in heavily polluted major cities around the world.
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Heart Failure and Air Pollution

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Anoop Shah MBChB
Cardiology Research fellow
Centre of Cardiovascular sciences
Chancellors Building
University Of Edinburgh
Little France Edinburgh

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Many studies have shown the effect of air pollution on cardiac mortality and myocardial infarction. Less studies have shown a similar effect on patients with heart failure. We therefore systemically reviewed and pooled data across 12 countries involving over 4 million patients with heart failure. We showed that air pollution has a close temporal association with either being hospitalized or dying from heart failure. Most of the effects of air pollution on patients with heart failure were acute. Most of the data that we analyzed came from developed countries across Europe and the USA. There was a  significant paucity of data from rapidly urbanizing nations such as India and China.
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Lung Cancer Incidence and Air Pollution

Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, MSc, PhD  Head of Research Group for Work, Environment & Cancer Danish Cancer Society Research Center Strandboulevarden 49 2100 Copenhagen ØMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, MSc, PhD

Head of Research Group for Work, Environment & Cancer
Danish Cancer Society Research Center
Strandboulevarden 49
2100 Copenhagen Ø

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The study shows that people who live at locations with higher levels of particles in the air are at higher risk for development of lung cancer.

It seems that there is no threshold for air pollution with particles below which there is no risk; the results show that it is more like “the more air pollution the worse and the less pollution the better”.

The strongest association was seen for adenocarcinoma of the lung.
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