Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor Indoor Air Quality Means Poorer Health For Patients With COPD

Date:
September 5, 2007
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Poor indoor air quality can significantly worsen health problems in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, according to a recent article. High concentrations of fine particulate pollution -- the type of pollution associated with secondhand smoke and, in developing countries, indoor cooking and heating fires -- were strongly linked to poorer health status.

Poor indoor air quality can significantly worsen health problems in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), according to researchers in Scotland. High concentrations of fine particulate pollution--the type of pollution associated with secondhand smoke and, in developing countries, indoor cooking and heating fires-- were strongly linked to poorer health status.

While the exacerbating effects of outdoor pollutants on COPD patients have been well-documented, few studies have analyzed the impact of indoor air quality on COPD patients. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the fifth worldwide, according to lead investigator Liesl M. Osman, Ph.D.

"Although exposure to outdoor pollution is important, most people spend the greater part of their time indoors," wrote Dr. Osman in the article that appears in the first issue for September of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Osman and a team of researchers in Aberdeen, Scotland, measured concentrations of indoor air pollutants in the homes of 148 Scottish patients who had mild to severe COPD. Over the course of a week, they took samples of particulate matter up to 2.5ėg (PM2.5) every five minutes, sampled indoor endotoxin concentrations and measured indoor NO2 with passive samplers. Recorded data on concentrations of outdoor PM2.5 were also collected from a nearby monitoring station.

The study participants completed the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) to assess their symptoms, activity limitation and the impact of their disease. Each subject was also asked about their current smoking status, which was verified by salivary cotinine levels.

The researchers found that indoor concentrations of particulate pollution in the subjects' homes frequently exceeded standards for outdoor air. In at least one instance, the highest concentration of a home was more than 40 times that of the recommended maximum.

"High levels of PM2.5 were recorded in the homes of patients with COPD," they wrote. "The highest levels of PM2.5 were, on average, four times the maximum recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 24 hour periods," they continued, noting that a significant source of PM2.5 was environmental tobacco smoke. Nearly 40 percent of the subjects were current smokers, and 17 percent of non-smokers lived in "smoking environments" where others smoked in their homes.

Both smokers and non-smokers were negatively affected by increased PM2.5, as measured by clinically significant differences in their SGRQ symptom scores. Interestingly, an analysis of the effect of indoor air quality on smokers versus non-smokers revealed that smokers suffered greater adverse effects that nonsmokers. No significant effects of NO2 or endotoxin levels were found.

While these findings may be an artifact of the higher overall levels of PM2.5 in the homes of smokers, the researchers noted that the data also illuminated a gap in the current knowledge on the lives of patients with COPD.

Previous studies of indoor air quality have tended to exclude smokers, which may have resulted in an overall underestimate of the impact of indoor air quality on health status, as well as painted an unrealistic picture of the COPD patient population.

"The finding that indoor PM2.5 concentrations had negative respiratory health effects among both smokers and nonsmokers has important implications for future research," wrote Mark D. Eisner, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, in an editorial in the same issue of the journal. "Further research is needed to elucidate the prospective effects of indoor air pollutants on adults with COPD."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Poor Indoor Air Quality Means Poorer Health For Patients With COPD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093920.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2007, September 5). Poor Indoor Air Quality Means Poorer Health For Patients With COPD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093920.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Poor Indoor Air Quality Means Poorer Health For Patients With COPD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093920.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
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