Breaking News
April 23, 2018 - CDC seeking $400 million to replace lab for deadliest germs
April 23, 2018 - Sensirion to present single-use liquid flow sensor at COMPAMED 2017
April 23, 2018 - FDA approves contact lenses that shade the sun
April 22, 2018 - Concussion recovery and symptom severity found to vary between men and women
April 22, 2018 - C. Difficile Risk Higher With Stoma Reversal Versus Colectomy
April 22, 2018 - Repeated ranibizumab doesn’t impair macular perfusion
April 22, 2018 - New microscope reveals how cells behave in 3D and real time inside living organisms
April 22, 2018 - Study shows clinical benefit and monetary gains of weight-loss surgery
April 22, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions launches world’s first Laser PCR platform at Medica Trade Fair
April 22, 2018 - Researchers present simulation model to investigate hospital responsiveness to mass casualty incidents
April 22, 2018 - Does Pot Really Dull a Teen’s Brain?
April 22, 2018 - Controversial pregnancy test drug shows deformities in zebrafish embryos within hours of exposure
April 22, 2018 - New research partnership makes childbirth safer in Mozambique
April 22, 2018 - Brief bedside visual art intervention reduces pain, anxiety in cancer patients
April 22, 2018 - The memory part of the brain may also hold clues for anxiety and depression
April 22, 2018 - AYOXXA to develop multiplex immunoassay to support treatment of sepsis patients
April 22, 2018 - New Drug Combo Ups Survival in HER2/neu Uterine Serous Cancer
April 22, 2018 - Researchers chart a new way to look at concussion
April 22, 2018 - Every parent needs to know fundamental red flags for autism
April 22, 2018 - Anatotemp expands anatomic dental implant healing abutments with 4Side anti-rotational connection
April 22, 2018 - Gene Twist Can Make Your Blood Pressure Spike From Salt
April 22, 2018 - Study suggests failed osteoarthritis drug could help treat opioid addiction
April 22, 2018 - More Americans aware of growing problem of opioid addiction
April 22, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Nothing in health care ever goes away
April 22, 2018 - BGS to promote high-quality sterilization services at Health GB in Manchester
April 22, 2018 - New integrated POC tool detects biomarkers of heart failure rapidly and precisely
April 22, 2018 - Direct electrical current can be delivered to nerves for blocking pain signals
April 22, 2018 - Newly Published Phase 2 Study Found Esketamine Demonstrated Significantly Rapid Improvements in Depressive Symptoms and Suicidality
April 22, 2018 - Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures
April 22, 2018 - Researchers present case study of management of rheumatic mitral regurgitation in woman contemplating pregnancy
April 22, 2018 - New black Porvair Krystal UV Quartz microplates for Circular Dichroism measurements
April 22, 2018 - Advanced flow chemistry modules enhance control of nanoprecipitation
April 22, 2018 - Look! Down in the petri dish! It’s a superplatelet!
April 22, 2018 - Research reveals why people with tetraplegia more likely to suffer from sleep apnea
April 21, 2018 - New non-invasive nerve stimulation may offer relief for people with hand tremor
April 21, 2018 - Smartphone App May Up Medication Adherence in HTN
April 21, 2018 - Western diet depletes artery-protecting immune cells
April 21, 2018 - Excelitas Technologies launches new powerful LED light source for fluorescence microscopy
April 21, 2018 - Academia and high tech companies join forces to increase production capacity for microfluidic systems
April 21, 2018 - Developing cooking skills as young adult may have long-term health benefits
April 21, 2018 - Study compares survival outcomes of different drugs for type 2 diabetes
April 21, 2018 - More Than 40 Percent of Americans Breathe Dirty Air: Report
April 21, 2018 - Obstructive sleep apnea – Genetics Home Reference
April 21, 2018 - More evidence shows exposure to traffic and outdoor air pollution increases risk of asthma
April 21, 2018 - Novel gold nanoparticle technology could guide cancer treatment in real-time
April 21, 2018 - News coverage of Ebola impacted public’s perception on disease and survivors
April 21, 2018 - S.Africa’s DIY battle against HIV
April 21, 2018 - Children with autism have gastrointestinal and immune system deregulation, research finds
April 21, 2018 - Human brain processes sight and sound in the same way, shows study
April 21, 2018 - Evolutionary history of tumor helps predict severity of prostate cancer
April 21, 2018 - Pepper plant metabolizes antibiotic in personal care products
April 21, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with Integra
April 21, 2018 - EPFL becomes part of Chan Zuckerberg’s project to develop Human Cell Atlas
April 21, 2018 - Pfizer Announces Positive Topline Results From Phase 3 ATTR-ACT Study Of Tafamidis In Patients With Transthyretin Cardiomyopathy
April 21, 2018 - Breaking through the HIV vaccine ‘logjam’
April 21, 2018 - IntelliCyt introduces new QSol buffer to enable robust, consistent sampling
April 21, 2018 - Scientists publish comprehensive lineage tree of whole adult animal in Science journal
April 21, 2018 - Innovative method based on FluidFM technology could revolutionize biological research
April 21, 2018 - Americans world’s biggest TV addicts, watching four hours a day
April 21, 2018 - Investigational drug may help increase protein levels in babies with spinal muscular atrophy
April 21, 2018 - Study shows distinctions between age groups in predicting and responding to stress at home
April 21, 2018 - Aziyo Biologics, BIOTRONIK enter into US co-distribution agreement
April 21, 2018 - Opiate Use Linked to Early Mortality in IBD Patients
April 21, 2018 - Online ads help pregnant smokers quit
April 21, 2018 - Opioid pain medications may not be safe for hemodialysis patients
April 21, 2018 - Rare variants in non-coding DNA inherited from parents heighten autism risk
April 21, 2018 - A needleless glucose monitor for diabetes patients
April 21, 2018 - BD introduces new informatics and automation solutions for clinical laboratories
April 21, 2018 - Turn Chores Into a Fitness Routine
April 21, 2018 - DNA methylation plays key role in stem cell differentiation
April 21, 2018 - Scientists find link between soil metals and cancer mortality
April 21, 2018 - Experts discuss implications of low calcium intake in global population
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions to display Pharos V8 Laser PCR instrument at Analytica trade fair
April 21, 2018 - People with vitamin D deficiency may be at greater risk of diabetes
April 21, 2018 - Study findings could open new possibilities for treating cancer with adenovirus
April 21, 2018 - People who use medical marijuana have higher rates of prescription drug use, study finds
April 21, 2018 - Study debunks ‘myth’ that strenuous exercise dampens immunity
April 21, 2018 - FDA approves marijuana based medication for epilepsy treatment
April 21, 2018 - Researchers find novel genes for longevity in mammals
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions and project partners launch new research project to develop TB diagnostic platform for POC applications
Brief elevation of airborne particulate matter linked to respiratory infection in children

Brief elevation of airborne particulate matter linked to respiratory infection in children

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Even the briefest increase in airborne fine particulate matter PM2.5, pollution-causing particles that are about 3 percent of the diameter of human hair, is associated with the development of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children, according to newly published research.  

Increases in PM2.5 levels also led to increased doctor visits for these lung infections.

The groundbreaking study, “Short-Term Elevation of Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Acute Lower Respiratory Infection,” is the largest to date on this health concern, involving more than 100,000 patients.

The research was undertaken by a team from Intermountain Healthcare, Brigham Young University and University of Utah and is published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal.

“The most important finding of this study is that infectious processes of respiratory disease may be influenced by particulate matter pollution at various levels,” said lead author Benjamin Horne, PhD, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.  “The exact biological implications of the study’s findings require further investigation.”  

Dr. Horne and colleagues studied 146,397 individuals who were treated for ALRI between 1999 and 2016 at Intermountain Healthcare facilities throughout Utah’s Wasatch Front region.  The Wasatch Front is approximately 80 miles long and 10-20 miles wide, bordered on both sides by mountains.  It consists primarily of suburbs, but also includes the cities of Salt Lake City, Ogden and Provo/Orem.

PM2.5 levels were estimated based on data from air quality monitoring stations along the Wasatch Front, where approximately 80 percent of Utah’s population resides.  Measurements were also made at secondary locations.  Short-term periods of PM2.5 elevation were matched with the timing of increases in health care visits for ALRI.

The primary aim of the study was to determine if there was an association between these fine particulates and ALRI in very young children, with a secondary objective of finding the same associations for older children, adolescents and adults. The research team found ALRI associated with elevated levels of PM2.5 in both children and adults – even in newborns and toddlers up to age two, who represented 77 percent (112,467) of those who had an ALRI diagnosis.

Nearly 60 percent of U.S. children live in counties with PM2.5 concentrations above air quality standards. This study was performed in a location where the average daily PM2.5 level is lower than places like Los Angeles and New York. Due to the topography of the region, though, air pollution may become trapped in the high mountain valleys of the Wasatch Front—especially during temperature inversions, which typically occur in the winter months. When PM2.5 becomes trapped in the valleys, this often leads to sharp increases in PM2.5 to levels considered to be unhealthy (>35 micrograms per cubic meter, and at times approaching 100 ug/m3).

“In many places that have higher average PM2.5, the PM2.5 level does not vary as much as it does on the Wasatch Front, so it is not clear how this study’s findings may transfer to those locales where the air pollution exposure is higher over the long term but short term spikes do not occur,” said Dr. Horne.  “It may be, though, that long-term exposure to air pollution makes people more susceptible to ALRI on a routine basis, although additional studies will be required to test this hypothesis.”

Bronchiolitis, a condition in which small breathing tubes in the lungs called bronchioles become infected and clogged with mucus, is the most common acute lower respiratory infection in children.

Fifty to 90 percent of bronchiolitis cases are caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the most common cause of hospitalization in the first two years of life. Sixty-four percent of individuals studied had a diagnosis of bronchiolitis.

“Overall, it took about 2-3 weeks for the ALRI hospitalizations or clinic visits to occur in this study after the rapid rise in PM2.5 had been observed,” said Dr. Horne. In an analysis of death rates among the study population, 17 children ages 0-2, 9 children ages 3-17 and 81 adults (≥ age 18) died within 30 days of diagnosis with ALRI.

In theorizing about the connection between PM2.5 and ALRI, Dr. Horne said: “The air pollution itself may make the human body more susceptible to infection or may impair the body’s ability to fight off the infectious agents.  It may be that PM2.5 causes damage to the airway so that a virus can successfully cause an infection or that PM2.5 impairs the immune response so that the body mounts a less effective response in fighting off the infection. This could lead to longer periods of ALRI symptoms or more severe symptoms requiring a higher intensity of medical care for the infected individual. It may also be that periods of acute increases in PM2.5 lead people to stay indoors more where they are in closer contact with others who carry infectious agents and can transmit the infection to them.”

Motor vehicles contribute about 48 percent of emissions that lead to the formation of fine particulates.  Small industry and businesses such as gas stations and dry cleaners, as well as home heating, emit about 39 percent of all fine particulates.  Large manufacturing accounts for 13 percent.

“The practical implications for prevention of ALRI and amelioration of symptoms include that when an acute increase in the level of PM2.5 occurs, people may be able to prevent infections or decrease ALRI symptom severity or duration by reducing their exposure to the air pollution,” said Dr. Horne.

“Furthermore, a substantial elevation in PM2.5 may also serve as a nudge that reminds or alerts people to avoid areas and activities where other people may share an infection with them, to not touch their face with dirty hands, to be vigilant about washing their hands when reasonably possible or prudent, and to engage in other preventive behaviors that are known to reduce infection risk.”

Source:

https://www.thoracic.org/

About author

Related Articles