findings of the study, therefore, suggest that outdoor
air pollution reduced lung function and increased the occurrence of COPD.
Hansell explained: "In
one of the largest analyses to date, we found that outdoor air pollution
exposure is directly linked to lower lung function and increased COPD
prevalence. We found that people exposed to higher levels of pollutants had
lower lung function equivalent to at least a year of aging."
Can Income Level
Influence Impact of Exposure to Air Pollution?Air
pollution had a higher impact on persons from lower-income households
. There was approximately
twice as much impact
on loss of lung
function and threefold increased COPD risk on participants with lower income
compared to higher-income participants
exposed to the same level of pollutants.
Authors said, "We accounted for
participants' smoking status and if their occupation might affect lung health,
and think this disparity could be related to poorer housing conditions or diet,
worse access to healthcare or long-term effects of poverty affecting lung
growth in childhood."
Possible Study Limitations
- Inability to monitor exposure to
pollutants in the daily lives of participants
- The fact that study participants
were generally more well off and healthier compared to the
general public, could have resulted in underestimations
of the impact of air pollution exposure to reduced lung function
research is needed to investigate the possible reasons for the difference in
COPD in persons from lower vs higher-income households
team are involved in further studies to see if genetic factors and air
pollution combined together might increase the risk of lung
In summary, exposure to outdoor air pollution significantly reduces lung
function and increases the rate of occurrence of COPD. All of us should join
hands and resolve to make changes in our lifestyle to reduce air pollution for
the health of our future generations.
- Air pollution, lung function and COPD: Results from the population-based UK Biobank study - (http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02140-2018)