Link between Air Pollution Exposure and Severe Covid-19 outcomes

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found a possible link between chronic exposure to air pollution and severe outcomes from Covid-19 infection.

A number of risk factors have been identified for those at risk of severe outcomes following Covid-19 infection including gender, age and pre-existing medical conditions. This latest study highlights the role that air pollution may have in putting people in polluted areas at greater risk of severe disease.

The authors found that those with SARS-CoV-2 infection living in areas with elevated levels of common air pollutants (PM2.5, NO2 and O3) were at higher risk of being admitted to ICU. Additionally, they reported that chronic exposure to PM2.5 and O3 was associated with an elevated risk of Covid related hospital admissions; and exposure to O3 was also associated with a higher risk of death from COVID-19

Ref: Chen, C., Wang, J., Kwong, J., et al. (2022). Association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and COVID-19 severity: a prospective cohort study. Canadian Medical Association Journal. doi:10.1503/cmaj.220068.