Medical concerns around air quality have long been a standing issue. It’s no secret that exposure to pollution can negatively impact the body. However, recent studies show that there may be more health concerns tied to air pollution than initially thought. Most notably, air pollution has long been linked to respiratory illnesses and cardiopulmonary-related issues. A new study now suggests that there may be a link between air pollution and autoimmune disease.
New Data Shows Significantly Increased Risk For Autoimmune Diseases
A recent study from Italy examined over 81,000 residents of adult age. It determined that exposure to various factors such as car exhaust and other purple agents led to an increased risk for a wide range of diseases.
The study, which took place over roughly four years, monitored the patient history of the 81,000+ residents across large areas of Italy and noted increases in the rate of autoimmune pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.
The study also took data from air quality monitoring stations and determined that the risk of developing these diseases increased with increased air pollution. According to the gathered data, 12% of study participants are diagnosed with autoimmune disease after exposure to air pollution.
The data has shown that even exposure over time to moderate levels of pollution can lead to the development and diagnosis of significant medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory lung disease, and heart conditions.
Exposure to Heavy Pollution Increases the Risk For Medical Complications
Doctors also suggest that, according to the data from the study, exposure to heavy amounts of pollution also increases the risk of the development of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and pulmonary disease. In particular, those exposed to high levels for long periods are at the most significant risk of developing a range of medical conditions, even without prior risk factors.
Doctors and researchers were quick to point out that pollution affects not only the respiratory system, but nearly every organ and system in the body, which leads to an increased risk of developing a wide range of illnesses.
However, it is essential to note that at this time, the exact cause behind the increase in autoimmune illnesses due to pollution exposure is unknown. However, it’s clear that the air we breathe certainly impacts our overall well-being, and we should be aware of how that influences our long-term health.