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Exposure to Residential Radon and COPD: A Systematic Review

Authors Conde-Sampayo A, Lorenzo-González M, Fernández-Villar A, Barros-Dios JM, Ruano-Ravina A

Received 14 January 2020

Accepted for publication 21 March 2020

Published 28 April 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 939—948

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S245982

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Alejandro Conde-Sampayo,1 María Lorenzo-González,1 Alberto Fernández-Villar,2 Juan Miguel Barros-Dios,3– 5 Alberto Ruano-Ravina3,4

1Preventive Medicine Unit, Ourense University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ourense, Spain; 2Pneumology Unit, Vigo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Vigo, Spain; 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; 4Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology & Public Health (CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública - CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; 5Preventive Medicine Unit, Santiago de Compostela University Teaching Hospital Complex, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Correspondence: Alberto Ruano-Ravina
Departamento de Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública, Universidad de Medicina, C/San Francisco s/n, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela 15782, Spain
Email alberto.ruano@usc.es

Introduction: The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between exposure to residential radon and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by means of a systematic review.
Material and Methods: A search was conducted in PubMed and OVID for papers making reference to the radon–COPD relationship. No search filters were applied, whether by date of publication, study type or sample size. All studies not written in English or Spanish were discarded.
Results: A total of 174 and 57 papers were found in PubMed and OVID, respectively: of these, 13 (11 on miners and 2 on the general population) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Only four of the studies on cohorts of miners analysed COPD as a specific disease, and only one reported statistically significant results. In addition, many of these studies lacked information on tobacco use among miners. In contrast, studies conducted on the general public showed an association between mortality and hospital admissions, on the one hand, and residential radon on the other.
Conclusion: There are not enough studies to provide a basis for confirming or ruling out an association between radon exposure and COPD. Nonetheless, the most recent general population studies point to evidence of a possible association. In view of the heterogeneity of available studies, it is impossible to say whether this gas may or may not affect COPD morbidity and mortality, until such a time as further studies are carried out.

Keywords: radon, COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, systematic review

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