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Covid, the German study: “Long-term exposure to pollution linked to higher risk of serious disease” – Il Fatto Quotidiano

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Covid, the German study: “Long-term exposure to pollution linked to higher risk of serious disease” – Il Fatto Quotidiano
Written by aquitodovale

There have been several studies over time that have hypothesized that in the most polluted areas the Covid was even more ferocious sensing a possible relationship with the severity of the disease with smog and fine dust. Also from Germani comes an analysis of data which shows how long-term exposure to air pollution before the pandemic is linked at a higher risk of developing severe Covid-19. The research was presented at Euroanaesthesia 2022, the annual congress of the European Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) in Milan until Monday. Scientists found that “people living in territories with higher levels of polluting nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were more likely to need treatment in intensive care and of mechanical ventilation in case of infection by Sars-CoV-2 ″. Breathing too much nitrogen dioxide before the emergency made the body more vulnerable to the virus.

Susanne Koch, from the Department of Anesthesiology and ICU, Charité-Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany, explored the impact of long-term air pollution and the need for ICU treatment and mechanical ventilation of positive patients. “The team led by Koch monitored data on air pollution from 2010 to 2019, these numbers were used to calculate the long-term annual average nitrogen dioxide level for each county in Germany. This ranged from 4.6 µg / m³ to 32 µg / m³, with the highest level a Frankfurt and the lowest level in Suhl, a small county in Thuringia, ”the research reports.

The period examined was from April 16 to May 16, 2020, when the lockdown restrictions were lifted, 392 of the 402 German provinces were included in the analysis. The researchers also evaluated the demographic factors (population density and distribution by age and sex), socioeconomic factors and health parameters, including pre-existing health conditions that can influence the severity of Covid-19. Well, the study found that there was an increased need for ICU treatment and mechanical ventilation for patients in territories with higher long-term annual mean NO2 levels.

The research found that “every 1 µg / m³ increase in the long-term annual average NO2 concentration was associated with a 3.2% increase in the number of ICU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients and a 3.5% increase in the number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation “. “Long-term NO2 exposure long before the pandemic may have made people more vulnerable to the more severe Covid disease – says Koch – Exposure to environmental air pollution can contribute to a number of other conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, asthma and lung cancer and it will continue to damage health long after the pandemic is over ”. “A transition to renewable energy, clean transport and sustainable agriculture is urgently needed to improve air quality. Reducing emissions will not only help limit the climate crisis, but will improve the health and quality of life of people around the world, ”concludes the researcher.

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