Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SARS Death Rate Doubles In Polluted Cities

Date:
November 20, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
A new study led by researchers at the UCLA School of Public Health associates air pollution with an increased risk of dying from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

A new study led by researchers at the UCLA School of Public Health associates air pollution with an increased risk of dying from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

Published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, the study shows that patients with SARS are more than twice as likely to die from the disease if they come from areas of high pollution.

"Long-term and short-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with a variety of adverse health effects including acute respiratory inflammation, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- and now SARS," said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health and a leading scientist of the study. "Our findings suggest that caregivers need to pay close attention to exposure to pollutants in the living and working environments of SARS patients. These factors and others related to exposure to airborne toxins could leave some individuals at greater risk of death from the illness than others."

Since November of 2002, 5,327 cases of SARS have been diagnosed in mainland China, and so far 349 patients have died from the disease. SARS death rates vary between regions of the country, with higher rates in the north of China.

A team of researchers from the UCLA School of Public Health, the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Fudan University School of Public Health investigated whether these differences could be explained by differences in air pollution levels.

Using publicly available SARS data, the researchers assessed the death rates of patients with SARS in five different regions of China. They used data published by the Chinese National Environmental Protection Agency to assess the air pollution levels in these different regions between April and May 2003, when the majority of SARS cases were diagnosed.

The researchers categorized the regions according to their level of air pollution. Guangdong, with an air pollution index of 75, was said to have a low level of pollution; Tianjin, with an air pollution index of more than 100, a high level of pollution; and Shanxi, Hebei and Beijing, moderate pollution levels.

Mortality rates of patients with SARS increased as pollution levels increased. In regions with low air pollution, the death rate was 4.08 percent, whereas in areas with moderate or high air pollution levels, the death rates were 7.49 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

The researchers were unable to examine the socioeconomic status or the smoking habits of the SARS patients, nor did they consider the treatment that the patients were given. All of these may have contributed to the patients' outcome.

However, the two regions with the highest case fatality rates were Beijing and Tianjin. The researchers suspect that patients would probably have received better clinical support in these areas. If this is the case, then air pollution may play an even greater role in increasing death rates than their data suggests.

Other researchers involved in the study included Yan Cui and Roger Detels of the epidemiology department at the UCLA School of Public Health; John Froines of the Southern California Particle Center and Supersite, and UCLA School of Public Health; Jinkou Zhao and Hua Wang of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Nanjing, China; and Shun-Zhang Yu of the School of Public Health at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

###

The UCLA School of Public Health is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals, translating research into policy and practice, and serving local, national and international communities. Detailed information about the school is available online at http://www.ph.ucla.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "SARS Death Rate Doubles In Polluted Cities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031120073707.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2003, November 20). SARS Death Rate Doubles In Polluted Cities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031120073707.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "SARS Death Rate Doubles In Polluted Cities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031120073707.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins