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Air pollution has significant influence on outcomes for people hospitalised with COVID-19

Christian Fernsby |
Long-term exposure to air pollution appears to have a significant influence on outcomes for people hospitalised with COVID-19, according to a large observational study conducted by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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To examine the association between air pollution and Covid-19, the researchers analysed data from 2,038 adults with Covid-19 admitted to four large hospitals in the U.S.

The researchers collected data on where the participants lived as well as data from the US Environmental Protection Agency on local air pollution levels.

They found that each small (ug/m³) increase in long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) was associated with more than three times the odds of being mechanically ventilated and twice the likelihood of a stay in ICU.

They also found that patients who were black, male, obese or had more severe long-term health conditions were much more likely to be mechanically ventilated and admitted to the ICU.

Even after accounting for potentially influential factors, including age and underlying health conditions, the researchers found that higher PM2.5 exposure was an independent predictor for mechanical ventilation and ICU stay.

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