A fresh wheeze

Imperial College London has published new research which says your wheezing today is likely to be the result of air pollution as long as 30 years ago.

And it be affecting how long you have to live.

Imperial has been conducting one of the world’s longest running air pollution studies, studying 368,000 people in England and Wales over almost four decades.

They used Britain’s  historic air pollution monitoring networks to measure air pollution levels in the areas where the individuals lived in 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001,

The highest risks were – naturally – bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

In the study, risks from pollution exposures were reported in units of 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air, and suggests that for every additional unit of pollution that people were exposed to in 1971, the risk of mortality in 2002 to 2009 increases by 2%.

Dr Rebecca Ghosh, co-author of the study said: “Putting this in context, an individual who lived in a higher polluted area in 1971 had a 14% higher risk of dying in 2002 to 2009 than someone who had lived in a lower polluted area. An individual living in a higher polluted area in 2001 also had an increased risk of mortality of 14% compared to someone in a low pollution area.”


Picture source: Flickr