Air pollution linked to multiple long-term health conditions: study

Exposure to traffic-related air pollution is associated with an increased risk of multiple and long-term mental health conditions, according to a study.

This is the world’s largest study – of over 364,000 (over 3.6 lakh) people in England – to examine whether the air pollution The exposure is linked to several long-term health conditions, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, showed that high levels of traffic are related to traffic the air pollution – fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – have been associated with an increased risk of having at least two long-term health conditions.

The strongest associations were seen for common neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, the researchers said.

“People with more than one long-term condition have a lower quality of life and greater reliance on the health system,” said Amy Ronaldson, Research Associate at King’s College London and first author of the study.

“Our research indicated that those people who live in higher areas traffic-associated air pollution has a higher risk of having more health conditions,” Ronaldson said.

However, the study does not prove that air pollution causes multimorbidity, but warrants further research in this area, the researchers said.

They analyzed data from UK Biobank – a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing anonymised genetic, lifestyle and health information from half a million UK participants aged 40 and 69 years old.

Participants were assessed for 36 individuals and five mental health chronic diseases. Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more of these conditions.

the air pollution The link was also seen with common neurological and mental conditions such as stroke, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, the researchers added (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

Physical and mental health data from UK Biobank in 2010 were linked to the estimated concentration of the air pollution at the home address of the participants.

The study found that those participants exposed to concentrations greater than 10 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of fine particles had a 21% higher risk of two or more conditions compared to those exposed to concentrations below 10µg/m3. .

For participants exposed to more than 30µg/m3 of NO2, the study showed a 20% increased risk of having two or more co-occurring conditions compared to those participants who were exposed to NO2 concentrations below 20µg/m3.

Among those with multiple conditions, increased exposure to both PM2.5 and NO2 was linked to greater severity of co-occurring conditions, the researchers said.

“How air pollution affects multiple organs and systems at the same time is not yet fully understood, but there is some evidence that mechanisms such as inflammationoxidative stress and immune activation could be triggered by air particles, which can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood, lungs and intestine”, said Ioannis Bakolis from King’s College London.

“Our study suggests that through common mechanisms, air pollution negatively impacts multiple body systems and increases the likelihood that people will develop multiple long-term health conditions,” said Bakolis, lead author of the study.

The researchers identified several patterns in the associations. The strongest links were primarily between conditions related to the respiratory system, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as the cardiovascular system, such as atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

The link has also been seen with common neurological and mental conditions such as stroke, substance abuse, depression and anxietythe researchers added.

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