A study evaluates, for the first time, the association between a series of environmental factors and disease effects in over 400 patients. Air pollution and greater distance with green of blue spaces negatively impact the health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by ”la Caixa” Foundation. The findings highlight the need for implementing urban policies that improve the life quality of a great number of people living with respiratory diseases across the world.
The health-related quality of life has become one of the most relevant parameters to measure the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “We know that several clinical and psychological factors can affect this parameter, but little is known on the effect of environmental factors,” explains Judith Garcia-Aymerich, ISGlobal researcher. Thus, Garcia-Aymerich and her team assessed, for the first time, the association between health-related quality of life and exposure to different environmental factors in over 400 COPD patients with different levels of disease severity, from moderate to high.
The patients, all of them residing in Barcelona, underwent a COPD assessment test and answered a clinical questionnaire. The research team determined the residential exposure of each patient to air pollutants (NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 fine particles, and PM2.5 absorbance), traffic noise, land surface temperatures, and distance to green or blue (water) spaces. They found that exposure to high levels of NO2 and PM2.5 absorbance (an indicator of black carbon emanating from combustion) were associated with worse assessment and mental health questionnaire scores.
Release date: 02 September 2021
Source: Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)