Study assesses association between environmental factors and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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High air pollution and living far from blue or green spaces negatively influence the health-related quality of life of people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a recent study by researchers at the University of London. ‘Alberta and the Barcelona Institute for Global. Health (ISGlobal).

The study, published in the journal Environmental research, evaluated, for the first time, the association between a series of environmental factors and the effects of the disease in more than 400 patients living in Barcelona, ​​Spain and neighboring provinces. In the study, researchers determined patient exposure to air pollutants, traffic noise, and ground surface temperatures. They also measured how far patients lived from green or blue spaces such as parks or rivers. They found that exposure to high levels of air pollution was associated with a poor health-related quality of life. Patients living more than 500 meters from a blue or green space also reported poorer health-related quality of life scores.

“If you spend time in a blue or green space, like in a forest, a park, or near the ocean or a river, it actually provides a huge mental health benefit,” said Subhabrata Moitra. , first author of the article and a postdoctoral fellow in the division of pulmonary medicine at the University of Alberta. “And if you have access to these places, you’re more likely to achieve better physical activity by walking or jogging, and it also helps improve physical and mental health.”

Ground surface temperatures and noise pollution did not impact health-related quality of life, although the researchers say there are mitigating factors that need to be further explored. The authors also acknowledge that the results show association, not causation, and that further studies are needed to better understand the contribution of each pollutant.

COPD, a disease that causes obstruction of airflow to the lungs, is expected to be the second most prevalent disease in the world by 2030. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than two million (10 %) of Canadians aged 35 and over were living with diagnosed COPD in 2012/13.

According to Moitra, the results underscore the importance of urban planning for cities to take into account clean air and increased access to blue and green spaces.

“A large portion of the population lives with COPD. If we are able to provide a clean and green environment for these patients, it will help improve their quality of life, ”said Moitra.


Ranking of European cities with the highest mortality due to lack of green spaces


More information:
Subhabrata Moitra et al, Roles of the physical environment in health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Environmental research (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.envres.2021.111828

Provided by the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta


Quote: Study Evaluates Association Between Environmental Factors and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (2021, November 5) Retrieved December 6, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-association-environmental-factors-chronic -obstructive.html

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