Urban air pollution may make COVID-19 more severe for some:
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A study published in the journal The Innovation found that long-term exposure to urban air pollution may have made COVID-19 more deadly.

The researchers analyzed key urban air pollutants, including fine particle matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3), across 3,122 counties in the United States from January to July.

To examine the association between ambient air pollutants and the severity of COVID-19 outcomes, they investigated two major death outcomes, the case-fatality rate and the mortality rate.

The two indicators can imply the biological susceptibility to deaths from COVID-19 and offer information of the severity of the COVID-19 deaths in the general population, respectively.

Of the pollutants analyzed, NO2 had the strongest independent correlation with raising a person's susceptibility to death from COVID-19.

A 4.6 parts per billion (ppb) increase of NO2 in the air was associated with 11.3% and 16.2% increases in COVID-19 case-fatality and mortality rate, respectively.

Moreover, Liang and his colleagues discovered that just a 4.6 ppb reduction in long-term exposure to NO2 would have prevented 14,672 deaths among those who tested positive for the virus.

The team also observed a marginally significant association between PM2.5 exposure and COVID case-fatality rate, whereas no notable associations were found with O3.

Conclusion: Long-term exposure to NO2, which largely arises from urban combustion sources such as traffic, may enhance susceptibility to severe COVID-19 outcomes, independent of long-term PM2.5 and O3 exposure.

Source: https://www.cell.com/the-innovation/fulltext/S2666-6758(20)30050-3
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