Air Pollution and Life Expectancy

February 8, 2021

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Anchor lead: Why does air pollution reduce life expectancy? Elizabeth Tracey reports

How does air pollution impact life expectancy? A recent study suggests exposure to air pollution may be a major factor accounting for differences in life expectancy among residents who live just a few miles from each other. William Checkley, a critical care medicine physician and international air pollution and health researcher at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Checkley: Any exposure to air pollution leads to inflammation in the lungs, or even throughout the body. There are multiple components that affect life expectancy in adults, whether it is that you develop a chronic respiratory disease, a cardiovascular condition, inflammation itself increases risk of stroke, of heart attacks, and also the damage of course in the lungs that also makes you more susceptible to infections. It can all be related to a decrease in life expectancy.  :29

Checkley notes that in some polluted cities internal air filters are used by those with means to reduce their exposure to particulate matter found in air pollution. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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