Various air pollutants, meteorological factors related to COPD exacerbations

October 26, 2021

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Researchers reported that nine air pollutants and meteorological factors are associated with increases in the frequency of COPD exacerbations with a delay of up to 10 days.

The analysis evaluated 551,535 patients with COPD in the National Health Insurance Service from 2013 to 2018. The data were merged with 24-hour averages of air pollutants and meteorological factors from national databases. All patients lived in eight metropolitan areas in South Korea with densely populated observatory stations.

The data were from Huh JY, et al. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2021; doi: 10.1513 / AnnalsATS.202103-298OC.

“Although Korea lies in East Asia between China and the Pacific Ocean, it is experiencing dynamic changes in weather, the atmosphere and air pollution levels.” Jin-Huh boy, MD, from the Department of Pneumology and Intensive Care Medicine of the University of Ulsan College of Medicine at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues wrote in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

A total of 15,282 COPD exacerbations resulted in either hospitalization or an emergency room visit.

Particulate matter (PM)2.5, PN10, Nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, humidity, mean temperature, and daytime temperature range have all been linked to the occurrence of COPD exacerbations.

A height of 10 g / m²3 in PN2.5 increased the risk of COPD exacerbations on lag day 0 in the period 2015-2016 in the multivariate analysis by 1.1%. In addition, an increase of 10 g / m²3 in PN2.5 on lag day 0 and an increase of 1 degree Celsius in the daytime temperature range was associated with a 1% and 3% higher risk of COPD exacerbations, respectively. The researchers also found the largest effect sizes of 10 g / m²3 Increase in PM2.5 and PN10 on lag day 4 in 2017-2018, which increased the incidence of an acute COPD exacerbation by 1.3% and 1.4%, respectively. However, the risk of excessive COPD exacerbation was highest on lag day 3 for the mean temperature, with a 1 degree Celsius increase increasing the risk by 1.1%.

“The effects of air pollutants and meteorological factors cannot be so simplified using a linear model, and identifying these different associations can be an important foundation in understanding their effects and predicting COPD exacerbations,” the researchers write.

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