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Harmful impact of air pollution on severe acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: particulate matter is hazardous

Authors Choi J, Oh JY, Lee YS, Min KH, Hur GY, Lee SY, Kang KH, Shim JJ

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 8 February 2018

Published 28 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1053—1059

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S156617

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Juwhan Choi, Jee Youn Oh, Young Seok Lee, Kyung Hoon Min, Gyu Young Hur, Sung Yong Lee, Kyung Ho Kang, Jae Jeong Shim

Division of Respiratory, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Introduction: Particulate matter and air pollution in Korea are becoming worse. There is a lack of research regarding the impact of particulate matter on patients with COPD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of various air pollution factors, including particulate matter, on the incidence rate of severe acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) events.
Methods: We analyzed the relationship between air pollutants and AECOPD events that required hospitalization at Guro Hospital in Korea from January 1, 2015 to May 31, 2017. We used general linear models with Poisson distribution and log-transformation to obtain adjusted relative risk (RR). We conducted further analysis through the Comprehensive Air-quality Index (CAI) that is used in Korea.
Results: Among various other air pollutants, particulate matter was identified as a major source of air pollution in Korea. When the CAI score was over 50, the incidence rate of severe AECOPD events was statistically significantly higher [RR 1.612, 95% CI, 1.065–2.440, P=0.024]. Additionally, the particulate matter levels 3 days before hospitalization were statistically significant [RR 1.003, 95% CI, 1.001–1.005, P=0.006].
Conclusion: Particulate matter and air pollution increase the incidence rate of severe AECOPD events. COPD patients should be cautioned against outdoor activities when particulate matter levels are high.

Keywords: air pollution, particulate matter, air quality index, acute exacerbation, COPD

A Letter to the Editor has been received and published for this article.

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