Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Air pollution linked to hospitalizations for pneumonia in seniors

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
A study found that among older individuals, long-term exposure to traffic pollution independently increased their risk of hospitalization for pneumonia.

A McMaster University researcher has found the first evidence that prolonged exposure to higher levels of the pollutants found in car exhaust fumes and industrial air pollution can lead to hospitalization for pneumonia in adults aged 65 and older.

Infectious disease specialist Mark Loeb led a research team to assess the effect of long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, both found in motor vehicle emissions, and fine particulate matter, found in industrial air pollution, on the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia in older adults. Loeb, a physician, is a professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

The research results are to be published in the Jan. 1, 2010, issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our study found that among older individuals, long-term exposure to traffic pollution independently increased their risk of hospitalization for pneumonia," said Loeb, who is also the director of the Infectious Diseases Division at McMaster University. "We propose that exposure to air pollution may have increased the individuals' susceptibility to pneumonia by interfering with lung immune defenses designed to protect the lung from pathogens."

Loeb led a research team in recruiting 365 older adults from Hamilton who had been hospitalized with radiologically confirmed pneumonia between July 2003 and April 2005. Control subjects randomly selected from the same neighbourhoods as the patients were also enrolled in the study.

The research team used structured interviews to collect health data from participants and compared the two groups' exposures to nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and fine particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometres using data from air-quality monitoring stations and land-use regression models.

The researchers found that exposure for more than 12 months to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometres more than doubled the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia in adults aged 65 and older. Exposure to sulfur dioxide was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization.

"The results of this study highlight the important health impact that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution can have on respiratory infections," Loeb said. "It also emphasizes the need to monitor emissions from vehicles, given that ground-level nitrogen dioxide is derived predominantly from traffic."

Pneumonia is a leading cause of illness and death in order adults. Rates of hospitalization for pneumonia among patients 65 year and older have increased in recent years. While the role of air pollution has been recognized as a risk factor for asthma and other respiratory diseases, few studies have been completed on the role of air pollution on pneumonia hospitalization in older adults.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Air pollution linked to hospitalizations for pneumonia in seniors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091223074703.htm>.
McMaster University. (2009, December 23). Air pollution linked to hospitalizations for pneumonia in seniors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091223074703.htm
McMaster University. "Air pollution linked to hospitalizations for pneumonia in seniors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091223074703.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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