Breathing polluted air increases severe cases of COVID-19 | Science and Technology

The high levels of air pollution that millions of people who live in large cities such as Madrid or Barcelona now breathe does not increase the risk of becoming infected, but it does increase the risk of becoming ill from COVID-19 and, moreover, and this is the most important thing: increases the risk of more severe symptoms. This is the result of new research led by the ISGlobal, the Barcelona Institute of Global Health.

In isand study they have participated 9,605 people what i livedían en neighborhoods of Barcelona and Badalona between the months of June and November of last year, when our country suffered the second wave of the pandemic.

Easta is the primeresearch being done in Spain on the negative effect of air pollution on the COVID-19, but too it is the first one in the world that provides the strongest scientific evidence on the benefits for the health of those infected by reducing emissions from fossil fuels now used by cars or heaters.

Since last year, a series of studies carried out in countries such as the United States indicate than regions with higher levels of air pollution before the pandemic had a higher incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths. However, this research carried out in Catalonia provides more evidence, because “the problem is that previous studies were based on cases that had been diagnosed, but omitted all asymptomatic or undiagnosed cases,” explains Manolis Kogevinas, ISGlobal researcher and first author of this new research.


It is research team decided to combine the technology developed by Carlota’s team Bathroom to measure a series of virus-specific antibodies in a large group adult (mostly between 40 and 65 years) residents in catalonia, with the information on the long-term exposure of these individuals to air pollutants dangerous, such as NO2, suspended particles, black carbon and the ozone.

“This is the first study to do a massive screening for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in a cohort of adults to examine the association between their residential exposure to air pollution before the pandemic, SARS-CoV-infection. 2 and the disease ”, also addIt’sn Cathryn Tonne, co-lead author of It is l study.

Greater severity

The study included 9,605 participants among whom there were 481 confirmed cases (5%). In addition, blood samples were taken from more than 4,000 participants to determine the presence and amount of IgM, IgA and IgG antibodies against five viral antigens.

After performing these analyzes, pFor the total study population (the 9,605 participants), an association was found between greater exposure to NO2 Ofine particles and the Covid 19, above all, for severe cases that ended up in the hospital or in Units of Cuid IIntensive.

This causal relationshipenter here Covid and the air pollution was strongest for men over 60 and for people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. “Our study provides the strongest evidence worldwide on the association of ambient air pollution and COVID-19,” concludes Kogevinas.

What’s more, the air pollution also puede contribute to the development of other cardiovascular diseases O respiratory diseases, which in turn increase the risk of suffer a COVID-19 grave.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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