Tuberc Respir Dis > Accepted Articles
DOI:    [Accepted]
Published online September 13, 2022.
Adverse Effects of Air Pollution on Pulmonary Diseases
Ui-won Ko, Sun Young Kyung
Department of Allergy, Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Gachon University, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea
Correspondence:  Sun Young Kyung, Tel: +82-32-460-2634, Fax: +82-469-4320, 
Received: 16 August 2022   • Revised: 8 September 2022   • Accepted: 13 September 2022
Environmental exposure to air pollution is known to have adverse effects on various organs. Air pollution has greater effects on the pulmonary system as the lungs are directly exposed to contaminants in the air. Here, we review the associations of air pollution with the development, morbidity, and mortality of pulmonary diseases.
Short- and long-term exposure to air pollution have been shown to increase mortality risk even at concentrations below the current national guidelines. Ambient air pollution has been shown to be associated with lung cancer. Particularly long-term exposure to particulate matter with a diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) has been reported to be associated with lung cancer even at low concentrations. In addition, exposure to air pollution has been shown to increase the incidence risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has been correlated with exacerbation and mortality of COPD. Air pollution has also been linked to exacerbation, mortality, and development of asthma. Exposure to nigrogen dioxide (NO2) has been demonstrated to be related to increased mortality in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Additionally, air pollution increases the incidence of infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. Furthermore, emerging evidence supports a link between air pollution and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission, susceptibility, severity and mortality.
In conclusion, the stringency of air quality guidelines should be increased and further therapeutic trials are required in patients at high risk of adverse health effects of air pollution.
Key Words: air pollution, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, COVID-19, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, mortality

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