Cleaner air = Fewer deaths

Community Health Aug 8, 2014 at 3:06 pm

HEALTH-CLEANER-AIRDr. George I. Traitses

Duke University researchers recently looked at changes in air quality and deaths from respiratory diseases between 1993 to 2010, and found a strong correlation between better air and fewer deaths. Using population data from North Carolina, where the researchers are based, the study showed that when sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide decreased markedly month to month, and so did deaths from emphysema, asthma and pneumonia.

Even after controlling for smoking and seasonal variations in respiratory death rates, the correlations remained. “We still have things to work on,” said Julia Kravchenko, the study’s lead author, noting that improvements in air quality could be attributed in part to increasing federal and state regulation over the years. “Even mild improvement in air quality will help reduce mortality from respiratory disease.” The study was published in The International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Source: “Long-term dynamics of death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and improving air quality,”  Kravchenko J, Akushevich I, Abernethy AP, Holman S, Ross Jr WG, Lyerly HK,

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