Air Pollution Bad for Seniors
Hospital admissions for respiratory illness among patients 65 and older appears to increase in relation to exposure to air pollution.That was the key finding of a study done by Joel D. Schwartz, PhD and colleagues at Harvard.
According to MedPage Today, a "model using satellite data to predict short- and long-term exposure to small particulate matter in the atmosphere found increased hospitalizations for respiratory causes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes among exposed Medicare participants in New England."
The research was published online in "PLoS One." Women accounted for 56% of respiratory conditions, 55% of cardiovascular disease, 59% for strokes, and 57% for diabetes.
The authors suggested several mechanisms that could contribute to health problems in older adults, including effects on tissues of the lung and heart as well as inflammation and oxidative stress. They also noted that recent studies have posited that mice prone to atherosclerosis developed worse and more unstable plaque when exposed to airborne particulate matter.
In conclusion, that wrote: "These findings present new opportunities to study the effects of both the long and short term exposure and human health."