Air Pollution causing more diseases as much as one pack of cigarettes

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According to a new study led by the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo, air pollution — especially ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change — accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung.

While previous studies have shown a clear connection of air pollutants with some heart and lung diseases, the new research published Aug. 13 in JAMA demonstrates an association between long-term exposure to all major air pollutants — especially ozone — with an increase in emphysema seen on lung scans. Emphysema is a condition in which destruction of lung tissue leads to wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, and increases the risk of death.

The results are based on an extensive, 18-year study involving more than 7,000 people and a detailed examination of the air pollution they encountered between 2000 and 2018 in six metropolitan regions across the U.S.: Chicago, Winston-Salem, N.C., Baltimore, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Minnesota, and New York. The participants were drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Air and Lung studies. Source

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