Home Health Covid and pollution, more serious symptoms and hospitalizations also due to smog: what the first Spanish study says

Covid and pollution, more serious symptoms and hospitalizations also due to smog: what the first Spanish study says

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Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with a higher risk of developing severe Covid-19. This is confirmed by the latest study on the relationship between viruses and smog conducted by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISG GLOBAL) and published on Environment Health Perspectives. An analysis that for the first time evaluates the effects of air pollution on disease and not only on minor infection as had happened in previous research. “A number of studies suggest that regions with higher pre-pandemic air pollution levels have had a higher incidence of Covid-19 cases and deaths. However, the reasons for these associations are still unclear, “explains the first author of the study Manolis Kogevinas,” the problem is that these previous studies were based on reported cases, which had been diagnosed, but did not detect all cases asymptomatic or not. diagnosed “. For this reason, the research team decided to combine the antibodies sampled from a group of adults from Catalonia, included in the Covicat program, with information on the long-term exposure of these people to air pollutants. Working out ‘the first study to run one screening of mass of antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 to detect their relationship with external environmental factors “, as explained by the cosenior study author Cathryn Tonne.

What they found

The Barcelona experts focused on a group of 9.605 people including 481 confirmed cases of Covid. For 4.000 of the participants then took blood samples to look for specific antibodies against the virus. What emerged was that a greater exposure to nitric oxide and fine particles such as It emerged that a greater exposure to nitric oxide and fine particles such as fine particulate PM2.5 correspond to higher concentrations of antibodies and therefore to a higher charge. viral. The viral load in turn is an indicator of stronger symptoms of the infection thus developing into disease. “In all cases, an association was found between high levels of pollutants and disease (presence of symptoms), in particular for the more severe cases that they end up in hospital and intensive care»Explains the study better, underlining how fine particulate matter is particularly associated with the disease that affects the over 60s and those living in disadvantaged areas.

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“The strongest evidence globally”

“Our study provides the strongest evidence globally on the association between air pollution and COVID-19 and these results are in line with data collected on hospitalizations caused by other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia or the flu»Explains Professor Kogevinas. Air pollution is classified as one of the risk elements for the most worrying forms of Covid-19 also in relation to chronic diseases which in that case would lead to the most serious symptoms of the virus. «Cardiovascular, respiratory and other similar diseases chronic conditions associated with the presence of air pollution in turn increase the risk of serious COVID-19, ”the scientists continue. And they add: «What we have discovered does nothing but highlight the great influence of environmental factors on infectious diseases».

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