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Road traffic pollution increases risk of death for bronchiectasis patients

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Road traffic pollution increases risk of death for bronchiectasis patients

A new study, presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona on 8th September 2013, concluded that people were less likely to die from bronchiectasis the further they lived from a major road.

Bronchiectasis is a structural lesion of the bronchi that experts estimate that can affect one million of Spanish people, of which only 300,000 patients are diagnosed, and some of these suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. Between 30 and 50% of moderate to severe forms of this disease has COPD

The study investigated the association between the residential distance to a main road and the number of deaths in a group of 189 people with non-CF bronchiectasis between June 2006 and October 2012.

The researchers used hazard ratios to estimate the risk of death. The findings showed that participants were less likely to die from bronchiectasis the further they lived from a major road.

Judith Garcia-Aymerich, co-chair of the ERS Congress 2013 and CREAL researcher, ISGlobal Alliance, remarked: “The European Lung White Book provides key recommendations to help policymakers address this issue and I would call on EU Member States to make air quality an integral part of their transport policies.”

Furthermore, the leader of this study, Pieter Goeminne, explained that “our results are the first to link air pollution with the risk of death in people with bronchiectasis and adds to a number of other studies showing the dangers of living close to a busy road. The findings of this study should encourage policymakers to make air quality a key focus of transport policies and consider the proximity of main roads to residential areas.”


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