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1.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2916, 2023 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241764

ABSTRACT

The association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants and severe COVID-19 is uncertain. We followed 4,660,502 adults from the general population in 2020 in Catalonia, Spain. Cox proportional models were fit to evaluate the association between annual averages of PM2.5, NO2, BC, and O3 at each participant's residential address and severe COVID-19. Higher exposure to PM2.5, NO2, and BC was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission, death, and hospital length of stay. An increase of 3.2 µg/m3 of PM2.5 was associated with a 19% (95% CI, 16-21) increase in hospitalizations. An increase of 16.1 µg/m3 of NO2 was associated with a 42% (95% CI, 30-55) increase in ICU admissions. An increase of 0.7 µg/m3 of BC was associated with a 6% (95% CI, 0-13) increase in deaths. O3 was positively associated with severe outcomes when adjusted by NO2. Our study contributes robust evidence that long-term exposure to air pollutants is associated with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Nitrogen Dioxide/toxicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/adverse effects
2.
Environ Int ; 176: 107967, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238659

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A large gap exists between the latest Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQG 2021) and Chinese air quality standards for NO2. Assessing whether and to what extent air quality standards for NO2 should be tightened in China requires a comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal characteristics of population exposure to ambient NO2 and related health risks, which have not been studied to date. OBJECTIVE: We predicted ground NO2 concentrations with high resolution in mainland China, explored exposure characteristics to NO2 pollution, and assessed the mortality burden attributable to NO2 exposure. METHODS: Daily NO2 concentrations in 2019 were predicted at 1-km spatial resolution in mainland China using random forest models incorporating multiple predictors. From these high-resolution predictions, we explored the spatiotemporal distribution of NO2, population and area percentages with NO2 exposure exceeding criterion levels, and premature deaths attributable to long- and short-term NO2 exposure in China. RESULTS: The cross-validation R2and root mean squared error of the NO2 predicting model were 0.80 and 7.78 µg/m3, respectively,at the daily level in 2019.The percentage of people (population number) with annual NO2 exposure over 40 µg/m3 in mainland China in 2019 was 10.40 % (145,605,200), and it reached 99.68 % (1,395,569,840) with the AQG guideline value of 10 µg/m3. NO2 levels and population exposure risk were elevated in urban areas than in rural. Long- and short-term exposures to NO2 were associated with 285,036 and 121,263 non-accidental deaths, respectively, in China in 2019. Tightening standards in steps gradually would increase the potential health benefit. CONCLUSION: In China, NO2 pollution is associated with significant mortality burden. Spatial disparities exist in NO2 pollution and exposure risks. China's current air quality standards may no longer objectively reflect the severity of NO2 pollution and exposure risk. Tightening the national standards for NO2 is needed and will lead to significant health benefits.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Humans , Air Pollutants/analysis , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , China/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Particulate Matter/analysis , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects
4.
Epidemiol Prev ; 47(3): 125-136, 2023.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318464

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: after the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2020, several waves of pandemic cases have occurred in Italy. The role of air pollution has been hypothesized and investigated in several studies. However, to date, the role of chronic exposure to air pollutants in increasing incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections is still debated. OBJECTIVES: to investigate the association between long-term exposure to air pollutants and the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Italy. DESIGN: a satellite-based air pollution exposure model with 1-km2 spatial resolution for entire Italy was applied and 2016-2019 mean population-weighted concentrations of particulate matter < 10 micron (PM10), PM <2.5 micron (PM2.5), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was calculated to each municipality as estimates of chronic exposures. A principal component analysis (PCA) approach was applied to 50+ area-level covariates (geography and topography, population density, mobility, population health, socioeconomic status) to account for the major determinants of the spatial distribution of incidence rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Detailed information was further used on intra- and inter-municipal mobility during the pandemic period. Finally, a mixed longitudinal ecological design with the study units consisting of individual municipalities in Italy was applied. Generalized negative binomial models controlling for age, gender, province, month, PCA variables, and population density were estimated. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: individual records of diagnosed SARS-2-CoV-2 infections in Italy from February 2020 to June 2021 reported to the Italian Integrated Surveillance of COVID-19 were used. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: percentage increases in incidence rate (%IR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) per unit increase in exposure. RESULTS: 3,995,202 COVID-19 cases in 7,800 municipalities were analysed (total population: 59,589,357 inhabitants). It was found that long-term exposure to PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 was significantly associated with the incidence rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In particular, incidence of COVID-19 increased by 0.3% (95%CI 0.1%-0.4%), 0.3% (0.2%-0.4%), and 0.9% (0.8%-1.0%) per 1 µg/m3 increment in PM2.5, PM10 and NO2, respectively. Associations were higher among elderly subjects and during the second pandemic wave (September 2020-December 2020). Several sensitivity analyses confirmed the main results. The results for NO2 were especially robust to multiple sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: evidence of an association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants and the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Italy was found.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , Incidence , Nitrogen Dioxide/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Italy/epidemiology , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/analysis
5.
Sci Total Environ ; 880: 163272, 2023 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303637

ABSTRACT

Ecological evidence links ambient particulate matter ≤2.5 mm (PM2.5) and the rate of COVID-19 infections, severity, and deaths. However, such studies are unable to account for individual-level differences in major confounders like socioeconomic status and often rely on imprecise measures of PM2.5. We conducted a systematic review of case-control and cohort studies, which rely on individual-level data, searching Medline, Embase, and the WHO COVID-19 database up to 30 June 2022. Study quality was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Results were pooled with a random effects meta-analysis, with Egger's regression, funnel plots, and leave-one-out/trim-and-fill sensitivity analyses to account for publication bias. N = 18 studies met inclusion criteria. A 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with 66 % (95 % CI: 1.31-2.11) greater odds of COVID-19 infection (N = 7) and 127 % (95 % CI: 1.41-3.66) odds of severe illness (hospitalisation, ICU admission, or requiring respiratory support) (N = 6). Pooled mortality results (N = 5) indicated increased deaths due to PM2.5 but were non-significant (OR 1.40; 0.94 to 2.10). Most studies were rated "good" quality (14/18 studies), though there were numerous methodological issues; few used individual-level data to adjust for socioeconomic status (4/18 studies), instead using area-based indicators (11/18 studies) or no such adjustments (3/18 studies). Most severity (9/10 studies) and mortality studies (5/6 studies) were based on people already diagnosed COVID-19, potentially introducing collider bias. There was evidence of publication bias in studies of infection (p = 0.012) but not severity (p = 0.132) or mortality (p = 0.100). While methodological limits and evidence of bias require cautious interpretation of the findings, we found compelling evidence that PM2.5 increases the risk of COVID-19 infection and severe disease, and weaker evidence of an increase in mortality risk.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Cohort Studies , Social Class , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Environmental Exposure/analysis
6.
Herz ; 48(3): 234-238, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298196

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in numerous cases of illness and death worldwide. Research has shown that there are associations between transmission, as well as the severity of SARS-CoV­2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infections, and various environmental factors. For example, air pollution with particulate matter is thought to play a crucial role, and both climatic and geographical aspects must be considered. Furthermore, environmental conditions such as industry and urban lifestyle have a significant impact on air quality and thus on health aspects of the population. In this regard, other factors such as chemicals, microplastics, and diet also critically impact health, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how closely health and the environment are linked. This review discusses the impact of environmental factors on the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Plastics , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis
7.
Environ Pollut ; 327: 121594, 2023 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296805

ABSTRACT

Exposure to outdoor air pollution may affect incidence and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this retrospective cohort based on patient records from the Greater Manchester Care Records, all first COVID-19 cases diagnosed between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2022 were followed until COVID-19 related hospitalization or death within 28 days. Long-term exposure was estimated using mean annual concentrations of particulate matter with diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5), ≤10 µm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and benzene (C6H6) in 2019 using a validated air pollution model developed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The association of long-term exposure to air pollution with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality were estimated using multivariate logistic regression models after adjusting for potential individual, temporal and spatial confounders. Significant positive associations were observed between PM2.5, PM10, NO2, SO2, benzene and COVID-19 hospital admissions with odds ratios (95% Confidence Intervals [CI]) of 1.27 (1.25-1.30), 1.15 (1.13-1.17), 1.12 (1.10-1.14), 1.16 (1.14-1.18), and 1.39 (1.36-1.42), (per interquartile range [IQR]), respectively. Significant positive associations were also observed between PM2.5, PM10, SO2, or benzene and COVID-19 mortality with odds ratios (95% CI) of 1.39 (1.31-1.48), 1.23 (1.17-1.30), 1.18 (1.12-1.24), and 1.62 (1.52-1.72), per IQR, respectively. Individuals who were older, overweight or obese, current smokers, or had underlying comorbidities showed greater associations between all pollutants of interest and hospital admission, compared to the corresponding groups. Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with developing severe COVID-19 after a positive SARS-CoV-2 infection, resulting in hospitalization or death.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Ozone , Humans , Air Pollutants/analysis , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , Benzene , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis , Ozone/analysis , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis
8.
Eur J Neurol ; 29(2): 535-542, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252981

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Some studies have shown that air pollution, often assessed by thin particulate matter with diameter below 2.5 µg/m3 (PM2.5), may contribute to severe COVID-19 courses, as well as play a role in the onset and evolution of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the impact of air pollution on COVID-19 has never been explored specifically amongst patients with MS (PwMS). This retrospective observational study aims to explore associations between PM2.5 and COVID-19 severity amongst PwMS. METHODS: Data were retrieved from an Italian web-based platform (MuSC-19) which includes PwMS with COVID-19. PM2.5 2016-2018 average concentrations were provided by the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service. Italian patients inserted in the platform from 15 January 2020 to 9 April 2021 with a COVID-19 positive test were included. Ordered logistic regression models were used to study associations between PM2.5 and COVID-19 severity. RESULTS: In all, 1087 patients, of whom 13% required hospitalization and 2% were admitted to an intensive care unit or died, were included. Based on the multivariate analysis, higher concentrations of PM2.5 increased the risk of worse COVID-19 course (odds ratio 1.90; p = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Even if several other factors explain the unfavourable course of COVID-19 in PwMS, the role of air pollutants must be considered and further investigated.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
10.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 357, 2023 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288036

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Exposure to air pollution has become a serious environmental issue affecting children's health and health-related behavior in China. Previous studies have focused on the associations between air pollution and physical activity among adults; however, few have examined the relationship between air pollution and health-related behavior among children, which are particularly susceptible population subgroups. The present study aims to examine the impact of air pollution on daily physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) among children in China. METHODS: PA and SB data were collected by actiGraph accelerometers for eight consecutive days. PA and SB data from 206 children were matched to daily air pollution obtained from the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China, including the average daily air quality index (AQI), PM2.5 (µg/m³), and PM10 (µg/m³). Associations were estimated using linear individual fixed-effect regressions. RESULTS: A 10-unit increase in daily AQI was associated with a reduction in daily PA by 5.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -8.79, -3.08) minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and 229.82 (95% CI = -345.35, -114.28) walking steps and an increase in daily SB by 15.77 (95% CI = 9.01, 22.53) minutes. A 10 µg/m³ increase in air pollution concentration in daily PM2.5 was associated with a reduction in daily PA by 7.51 (95% CI = -11.04, -3.97) minutes of MVPA, 295.69 (95% CI = -438.46, -152.92) walking steps and an increase in daily SB by 21.12 (95% CI = 12.77, 29.47) minutes. A 10 µg/m³ increase in air pollution concentration in daily PM10 was associated with a reduction in daily PA by 13.18 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -15.98, -10.37) minutes of MVPA, 518.34 (95% CI = -631.77, -404.91) walking steps and an increase in daily SB by 19.87 (95% CI = 13.10, 26.64) minutes. CONCLUSION: Air pollution may discourage physical activity and increase sedentary behavior among children. Policy interventions are needed to reduce air pollution and develop strategies to decrease risks to children's health.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Adult , Humans , Child , Sedentary Behavior , Exercise , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Health Behavior , Particulate Matter/analysis
11.
Annu Rev Public Health ; 44: 1-20, 2023 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252094

ABSTRACT

Several peer-reviewed papers and reviews have examined the relationship between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 spread and severity. However, many of the existing reviews on this topic do not extensively present the statistical challenges associated with this field, do not provide comprehensive guidelines for future researchers, and review only the results of a relatively small number of papers. We reviewed 139 papers, 127 of which reported a statistically significant positive association between air pollution and adverse COVID-19 health outcomes. Here, we summarize the evidence, describe the statistical challenges, and make recommendations for future research. To summarize the 139 papers with data from geographical locations around the world, we also present anopen-source data visualization tool that summarizes these studies and allows the research community to contribute evidence as new research papers are published.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Data Visualization , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
12.
Int Rev Psychiatry ; 34(7-8): 783-796, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2284374

ABSTRACT

Urbanisation processes and anthropogenic actions led to a significant increase in pollution levels, with relevant consequences on global health. In particular, noise pollution demonstrated an association with cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory diseases. Furthermore, increasing evidence underlined the possible role of air and noise pollution in the development of psychiatric disorders. In this narrative review, evidence concerning the relationship between noise pollution and the emergence of psychiatric symptoms or psychiatric disorders is summarised. After the literature search process was completed, 40 papers were included in the present review. The exposure to road-, rail-, and air- traffic represented a risk factor for the emergence of affective disorders. This could also be mediated by the occurrence of circadian rhythms disturbances or by noise annoyance and noise sensitivity, both influencing psychological well-being and health-related quality of life. Fewer studies concentrated on special populations, particularly pregnant women and children, for whom noise pollution was confirmed as a risk factor for psychopathology. The better clarification of the complex interaction between noise pollution and mental health may help to identify subjects at risk and targeting specific prevention and intervention strategies in the urban environment.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Mental Disorders , Pregnancy , Child , Humans , Female , Noise/adverse effects , Mental Health , Quality of Life , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Mental Disorders/etiology
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(6)2023 03 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2255460

ABSTRACT

Since SARS-CoV-2 was identified, the scientific community has tried to understand the variables that can influence its spread. Several studies have already highlighted a possible link between particulate matter (PM) and COVID-19. This work is a brief discussion about the latest findings on this topic, highlighting the gaps in the current results and possible tips for future studies. Based on the literature outcomes, PM is suspected to play a double role in COVID-19: a chronic and an acute one. The chronic role is related to the possible influence of long-term and short-term exposure to high concentrations of PM in developing severe forms of COVID-19, including death. The acute role is linked to the possible carrier function of PM in SARS-CoV-2. The scientific community seems sure that the inflammatory effect on the respiratory system of short-term exposure to a high concentration of PM, and other additional negative effects on human health in cases of longer exposure, increases the risk of developing a more severe form of COVID-19 in cases of contagion. On the contrary, the results regarding PM acting as a carrier of SARS-CoV-2 are more conflicting, especially regarding the possible inactivation of the virus in the environment, and no final explanation on the possible acute role of PM in the spread of COVID-19 can be inferred.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(3)2023 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2243465

ABSTRACT

Wildfires are increasing yearly in number and severity as a part of the evolving climate crisis. These fires are a significant source of air pollution, a common driver of flares in cardiorespiratory disease, including asthma, which is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Poorly controlled asthma leads to significant societal costs through morbidity, mortality, lost school and work time and healthcare utilization. This retrospective cohort study set in Calgary, Canada evaluates the relationship between asthma exacerbations during wildfire smoke events and equivalent low-pollution periods in a pediatric asthma population. Air pollution was based on daily average levels of PM2.5. Wildfire smoke events were determined by combining information from provincial databases and local monitors. Exposures were assumed using postal codes in the health record at the time of emergency department visits. Provincial claims data identified 27,501 asthma exacerbations in 57,375 children with asthma between 2010 to 2021. Wildfire smoke days demonstrated an increase in asthma exacerbations over the baseline (incidence rate ratio: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.02-1.24); this was not seen with air pollution in general. Increased rates of asthma exacerbations were also noted yearly in September. Asthma exacerbations were significantly decreased during periods of COVID-19 healthcare precautions.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Asthma , COVID-19 , Wildfires , Humans , Child , Smoke/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Asthma/epidemiology , Air Pollutants/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(3)2023 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2242954

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a global public health concern for almost three years, and the transmission characteristics vary among different virus variants. Previous studies have investigated the relationship between air pollutants and COVID-19 infection caused by the original strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, it is unclear whether individuals might be more susceptible to COVID-19 due to exposure to air pollutants, with the SARS-CoV-2 mutating faster and faster. This study aimed to explore the relationship between air pollutants and COVID-19 infection caused by three major SARS-CoV-2 strains (the original strain, Delta variant, and Omicron variant) in China. A generalized additive model was applied to investigate the associations of COVID-19 infection with six air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, SO2, CO, NO2, and O3). A positive correlation might be indicated between air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, and NO2) and confirmed cases of COVID-19 caused by different SARS-CoV-2 strains. It also suggested that the mutant variants appear to be more closely associated with air pollutants than the original strain. This study could provide valuable insight into control strategies that limit the concentration of air pollutants at lower levels and would better control the spread of COVID-19 even as the virus continues to mutate.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Nitrogen Dioxide , Particulate Matter/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Air Pollutants/analysis , China/epidemiology
16.
Braz J Med Biol Res ; 55: e12273, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197474

ABSTRACT

The association between exposure to air pollutants and respiratory diseases is well known. This study aimed to identify the association between this exposure and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in São José dos Campos, SP, a medium-sized city, between April 2020 and April 2021. Hospitalization data, concerning code B34.2, was supplied by DATASUS, and data concerning pollutants and climate variables were supplied by CETESB. Cases were quantified by sex, age, length of hospital stay in days, and type of discharge, whether hospital discharge or death. The negative binomial regression model was chosen. Estimates were produced for the relative risk (RR) of significant exposure to pollutants (P≤0.05) with a 10 µg/m3 increase of pollutant, as well as for excess hospitalizations. There were 1873 hospitalizations, with a daily average of 4.7 (±3.8), ranging from zero to 21: 716 deaths (38.2%) were recorded, 1065 admissions were men, and women were less susceptible (OR=0.82). The average age of women was higher than that of men; in cases of death, men were older than women; discharged patients were younger. All the above variables were significant. The risk of ozone exposure was higher and more significant in Lag 2, and the risk of nitrogen dioxide exposure was high in Lag 3, which was the period of the highest increase in hospitalizations, at 11.3%. The findings of this study, the first conducted in Brazil, corroborate the results of studies conducted in other centers.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , Brazil/epidemiology , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Hospitalization , Particulate Matter
17.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(23): 9054-9060, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2205440

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Environmental pollution has undoubtedly been established as a planetary, intergenerational, and existential threat to global human health and safety. Environmental pollution is adversely affecting the world, mainly the countries where human health is not a priority aspect, and this has been exacerbated due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and pandemic is known as "COVID pandemic". This study investigates the association of environmental pollutants, particulate matter (PM2.5), with SARS-CoV-2 daily cases and deaths in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, Pakistan, presenting the perspectives from the Global South. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The day-to-day PM2.5 levels were recorded from the metrological website, Real-Time Air Quality Index-AQI. The corresponding data on the COVID cases and deaths in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad were obtained from August 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, from the Health Ministry and National Command Operations Centre Pakistan. RESULTS: The mean values for PM2.5 in Karachi were 110.4±46.2; in Lahore 174.0±83.2; and in Islamabad 107.1±40.0. The COVID-19 mean daily cases in Karachi were 538.9±446.6; Lahore 398.3±403.1; and Islamabad 212.2±187.6; and mean daily deaths in Karachi were 9.2±8.3; Lahore 9.3±9.7; and Islamabad 1.8±1.8. The results further depicted that the SARS-CoV-2 cases were 2.86 times higher in Karachi and 1.4 times higher in Lahore than in Islamabad. Similarly, the SARS-CoV-2 deaths were 3.6 and 2.8 times higher in Karachi and Lahore, respectively, compared to Islamabad. CONCLUSIONS: The findings claim that cases and deaths augmented significantly along with PM2.5 levels. These empirical estimates demonstrate an association between PM2.5 and SARS-CoV-2 daily cases and deaths in the cities of the Global South. These findings can contribute to policy-making decisions about addressing air pollutants and climate concerns in developing countries and create an urgency to develop a strategy for minimizing environmental pollution. This study can also steer the actions needed to address the environmental problems in developing countries to improve public health and safety.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Environmental Pollutants , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Incidence , Public Health , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/analysis , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects
18.
Toxicol Sci ; 192(1): 3-14, 2023 03 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2190328

ABSTRACT

Air pollution levels across the globe continue to rise despite government regulations. The increase in global air pollution levels drives detrimental human health effects, including 7 million premature deaths every year. Many of these deaths are attributable to increased incidence of respiratory infections. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented public health crisis that has claimed the lives of over 6.5 million people globally, respiratory infections as a driver of human mortality is a pressing concern. Therefore, it is more important than ever to understand the relationship between air pollution and respiratory infections so that public health measures can be implemented to ameliorate further morbidity and mortality. This article aims to review the current epidemiologic and basic science research on interactions between air pollution exposure and respiratory infections. The first section will present epidemiologic studies organized by pathogen, followed by a review of basic science research investigating the mechanisms of infection, and then conclude with a discussion of areas that require future investigation.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Pandemics , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Respiratory Tract Infections/chemically induced , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Public Health , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Particulate Matter
19.
Atherosclerosis ; 366: 22-31, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2176642

ABSTRACT

Ambient air pollution, and especially particulate matter (PM) air pollution <2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), has clearly emerged as an important yet often overlooked risk factor for atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease (IHD). In this review, we examine the available evidence demonstrating how acute and chronic PM2.5 exposure clinically translates into a heightened coronary atherosclerotic burden and an increased risk of acute ischemic coronary events. Moreover, we provide insights into the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying PM2.5-mediated atherosclerosis, focusing on the specific biological mechanism through which PM2.5 exerts its detrimental effects. Further, we discuss about the possible mechanisms that explain the recent findings reporting a strong association between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, increased PM2.5 exposure, and morbidity and mortality from IHD. We also address the possible mitigation strategies that should be implemented to reduce the impact of PM2.5 on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and underscoring the strong need of clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of specific interventions (including both PM2.5 reduction and/or specific drugs) in reducing the incidence of IHD. Finally, we introduce the emerging concept of the exposome, highlighting the close relationship between PM2.5 and other environmental exposures (i.e.: traffic noise and climate change) in terms of common underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms and possible mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Atherosclerosis , COVID-19 , Myocardial Ischemia , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Myocardial Ischemia/etiology , Myocardial Ischemia/chemically induced , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Atherosclerosis/chemically induced
20.
PLoS One ; 18(1): e0280355, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197155

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have shown a relationship between air pollution and increased vulnerability and mortality due to COVID-19. Most of these studies have looked at developed countries. This study examines the relationship between long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19-related deaths in four countries of Latin America that have been highly affected by the pandemic: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Our results suggest that an increase in long-term exposure of 1 µg/m3 of fine particles is associated with a 2.7 percent increase in the COVID-19 mortality rate. This relationship is found primarily in municipalities of metropolitan areas, where urban air pollution sources dominate, and air quality guidelines are usually exceeded. By focusing the analysis on Latin America, we provide a first glimpse on the role of air pollution as a risk factor for COVID-19 mortality within a context characterized by weak environmental institutions, limited health care capacity and high levels of inequality.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Mexico , Cities/epidemiology , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/analysis , Mortality
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