Air pollution associated with 15% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide: study

New study says COVID-19 deaths may be associated with long-term exposure to air pollution


According to a study released today, around 15% of deaths worldwide from COVID-19 could be associated with long-term exposure to air pollution.

Researchers, including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, found that the proportion of COVID-19 deaths associated with air pollution in Europe was around 19%, in North America at 17. % and in East Asia about 27%. Percent.

The study, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Research, is the first to estimate the proportion of coronovirus deaths that can be attributed to the widespread effects of air pollution in all countries around the world.

The team noted that these ratios are an estimate of the fraction of COVID-19 deaths that could have been prevented had the population been exposed to low levels of air pollution linked to fossil fuels without anthropologists – emissions reason.

The researchers said this responsible fraction was not a direct cause and effect relationship between air pollution and death from COVID-19.

Instead, it refers to relationships due to both, direct and indirect, i.e., co-morbidities, or other health problems, which can lead to fatal health consequences from an infection. viral, he said.

The researchers used previous U.S. epidemiological data and Chinese studies of air pollution and COVID-19 and a 2003 SARS outbreak, supported by additional data from Italy.

They combined this with satellite data showing an overall risk for contaminated fine particles, called “particles”, with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (called PM 2.5). Information on atmospheric conditions and ground pollution monitoring networks.

The researchers created a model to calculate the fraction of coronovirus deaths that could be due to long-term exposure to PM 2.5.

The results are based on epidemiological data collected before the third week of June 2020, and the researchers say a full assessment will need to be followed after the outbreak subsides.

For example, estimates from different countries show that the Czech Republic is responsible for 29% of air pollution, 27% in China, 26% in Germany, 22% in Switzerland and 21% in Belgium.

Jose Lleveld, professor at the Max Planck Institute, said: “Since the number of deaths from COVID-19 is constantly increasing, it is not possible to give the exact or final number of deaths from COVID-19 by country. East.” chemistry.

“However, as an example, there have been more than 44,000 deaths from coronoviruses in the UK and we estimate the fraction responsible for air pollution at 14%, which means that over 6,100 deaths are attributed to air pollution. Could, ”Milleveld said.

“In the United States, air pollution causes more than 220,000 COVID deaths, with a fraction of 18,000 percent, or about 40,000 deaths,” he said.

Professor Thomas Munzel from the University of Johannes Gutenberg in Germany said that when people migrate polluted air, very small pollutant particles, PM2.5, from the lungs to the blood and blood vessels, causing inflammation and severe oxidative stress, which is a body. The imbalance between free radicals and oxidants in the body usually repairs damage to cells.

“It damages the inner lining of the arteries, the endothelium, and causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries. The COVID-19 virus also enters the body through the lungs, causing similar damage to blood vessels, and it is now believed to be an endothelial disease, Munzel said.

“If long-term exposure to air pollution and infection with the COVID-19 virus combine, we have an adverse effect on health, especially with regard to the heart and blood vessels, which makes as COIDID becomes more There are risks and less flexibility. ”-19,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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