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      Effect of ambient air quality on exacerbation of COPD in patients and its potential mechanism

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of continuous progress and environmental factors may affect the progress. COPD patients’ activity tolerance and quality of life are associated with air quality. COPD exacerbation from the perspective of geographical air quality has not been reported.


          To explore environmental effect of two different geographical places on COPD exacerbation and the effect of cigarette smoke extract and carbon particles on bronchial epithelial cell viability.


          Total 139 COPD patients, who lived in Beijing during summer and temporarily migrated to Sanya city in winter, have been enrolled. Respiratory symptoms and lung function data were collected when they were living in Beijing or Sanya, respectively. Effect of cigarette smoke extract plus ultrafine carbon particles on airway epithelial cells were studied.

          Measurements and main results

          Air pollution as measured by air quality index (AQI) in Beijing summer (113.1±14.2) was significantly worse than that in Sanya winter (49.4±8.9, p<0.001). The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score was significantly higher in Beijing (26.4±7.1) than that in Sanya (20.0±8.0, p=0.019). Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale was also significantly higher in Beijing (2.9±0.9) than that in Sanya (1.9±0.8, p<0.001). FEV 1 was significantly improved when the patients were in Sanya (48.88±24.78%) compared to that in Beijing (41.79±20.06%, p<0.01). Compared with Beijing and Sanya, the relative risk (RR) of hospitalization and acute exacerbation were 1.64 and 3.36, respectively. In vitro study demonstrated that apoptosis of BEAS2B cells in response to cigarette smoke extract plus ultrafine carbon particles (25.50±2.10%) was significantly higher than that of control culture (2.30±1.05%, p<0.01).


          These findings suggested that ambient air pollution cause COPD exacerbation, and that air pollutants particle matters induce apoptosis of airway epithelial cells.

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          Most cited references 15

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          A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.

          Quantification of the disease burden caused by different risks informs prevention by providing an account of health loss different to that provided by a disease-by-disease analysis. No complete revision of global disease burden caused by risk factors has been done since a comparative risk assessment in 2000, and no previous analysis has assessed changes in burden attributable to risk factors over time. We estimated deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; sum of years lived with disability [YLD] and years of life lost [YLL]) attributable to the independent effects of 67 risk factors and clusters of risk factors for 21 regions in 1990 and 2010. We estimated exposure distributions for each year, region, sex, and age group, and relative risks per unit of exposure by systematically reviewing and synthesising published and unpublished data. We used these estimates, together with estimates of cause-specific deaths and DALYs from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, to calculate the burden attributable to each risk factor exposure compared with the theoretical-minimum-risk exposure. We incorporated uncertainty in disease burden, relative risks, and exposures into our estimates of attributable burden. In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2-7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5-7·0]), and alcohol use (5·5% [5·0-5·9]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8-9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 7·0% [5·6-8·3]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4-6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2-10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium. Several risks that primarily affect childhood communicable diseases, including unimproved water and sanitation and childhood micronutrient deficiencies, fell in rank between 1990 and 2010, with unimproved water and sanitation accounting for 0·9% (0·4-1·6) of global DALYs in 2010. However, in most of sub-Saharan Africa childhood underweight, HAP, and non-exclusive and discontinued breastfeeding were the leading risks in 2010, while HAP was the leading risk in south Asia. The leading risk factor in Eastern Europe, most of Latin America, and southern sub-Saharan Africa in 2010 was alcohol use; in most of Asia, North Africa and Middle East, and central Europe it was high blood pressure. Despite declines, tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke remained the leading risk in high-income north America and western Europe. High body-mass index has increased globally and it is the leading risk in Australasia and southern Latin America, and also ranks high in other high-income regions, North Africa and Middle East, and Oceania. Worldwide, the contribution of different risk factors to disease burden has changed substantially, with a shift away from risks for communicable diseases in children towards those for non-communicable diseases in adults. These changes are related to the ageing population, decreased mortality among children younger than 5 years, changes in cause-of-death composition, and changes in risk factor exposures. New evidence has led to changes in the magnitude of key risks including unimproved water and sanitation, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, and ambient particulate matter pollution. The extent to which the epidemiological shift has occurred and what the leading risks currently are varies greatly across regions. In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the leading risks are still those associated with poverty and those that affect children. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Associations of Fine Particulate Matter Species with Mortality in the United States: A Multicity Time-Series Analysis

            Background: Epidemiological studies have examined the association between PM2.5 and mortality, but uncertainty remains about the seasonal variations in PM2.5-related effects and the relative importance of species. Objectives: We estimated the effects of PM2.5 species on mortality and how infiltration rates may modify the association. Methods: Using city–season specific Poisson regression, we estimated PM2.5 effects on approximately 4.5 million deaths for all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and respiratory diseases in 75 U.S. cities for 2000–2006. We added interaction terms between PM2.5 and monthly average species-to-PM2.5 proportions of individual species to determine the relative toxicity of each species. We combined results across cities using multivariate meta-regression, and controlled for infiltration. Results: We estimated a 1.18% (95% CI: 0.93, 1.44%) increase in all-cause mortality, a 1.03% (95% CI: 0.65, 1.41%) increase in CVD, a 1.22% (95% CI: 0.62, 1.82%) increase in MI, a 1.76% (95% CI: 1.01, 2.52%) increase in stroke, and a 1.71% (95% CI: 1.06, 2.35%) increase in respiratory deaths in association with a 10-μg/m3 increase in 2-day averaged PM2.5 concentration. The associations were largest in the spring. Silicon, calcium, and sulfur were associated with more all-cause mortality, whereas sulfur was related to more respiratory deaths. County-level smoking and alcohol were associated with larger estimated PM2.5 effects. Conclusions: Our study showed an increased risk of mortality associated with PM2.5, which varied with seasons and species. The results suggest that mass alone might not be sufficient to evaluate the health effects of particles. Citation: Dai L, Zanobetti A, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD. 2014. Associations of fine particulate matter species with mortality in the United States: a multicity time-series analysis. Environ Health Perspect 122:837–842;
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              Impact of fine and ultrafine particles on emergency hospital admissions for cardiac and respiratory diseases.

              Little is known about the short-term effects of ultrafine particles. We evaluated the effect of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter or=35 years hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, lower respiratory tract infections, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Information was available for factors indicating vulnerability, such as age and previous admissions for COPD. Particulate matter data were collected daily at one central fixed monitor. A case-crossover analysis was performed using a time-stratified approach. We estimated percent increases in risk per 14 microg/m PM10, per 10 microg/m PM2.5, and per 9392 particles/mL. An immediate impact (lag 0) of PM2.5 on hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome (2.3% [95% confidence interval = 0.5% to 4.2%]) and heart failure (2.4% [0.3% to 4.5%]) was found, whereas the effect on lower respiratory tract infections (2.8% [0.5% to 5.2%]) was delayed (lag 2). Particle number concentration showed an association only with admissions for heart failure (lag 0-5; 2.4% [0.2% to 4.7%]) and COPD (lag 0; 1.6% [0.0% to 3.2%]). The effects were generally stronger in the elderly and during winter. There was no clear effect modification with previous COPD. We found sizeable acute health effects of fine and ultrafine particles. Although differential reliability in exposure assessment, in particular of ultrafine particles, precludes a firm conclusion, the study indicates that particulate matter of different sizes tends to have diverse outcomes, with dissimilar latency between exposure and health response.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                10 July 2019
                : 14
                : 1517-1526
                [1 ]Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The General Hospital of PLA , Beijing 100853, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Medical School of Chinese PLA , Beijing 100853, People's Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Respiratory Disease, The Sanya People’s Hospital , Sanya 572000, People’s Republic of China
                [4 ]Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center , Omaha, NE 68198-5910, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Lixin XieDepartment of Respiratory Diseases, The General Hospital of PLA , Beijing100853, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +861 391 125 2807 Email xielx301@
                © 2019 Yan et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, References: 20, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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