Air pollution increases risk for hospitalization among older adults

A study published in BMJ found that chronic exposure to fine particulate matter was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for cardiovascular conditions in older adults. The researchers found that there is “no safe threshold” for the chronic effect of air pollution on overall cardiovascular health. Exposure to particulate matter between 9 and 10 g/m3 was associated with a 3.35% risk for cardiovascular hospitalization. The study suggests that lowering the national average for annual PM2.5 below 5 µg/m3 could prevent 15% of cardiovascular hospitalizations. The researchers recommended targeted interventions to mitigate the adverse impacts of PM2.5 exposure, especially among vulnerable populations.

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