Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who has the Greatest Health Impacts from Particulate Matter?

U.S. counties violating national PM 2.5 standa...
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Particulate Matter Induced Health Effects: Who’s Susceptible? (43 page pdf, Environmental Health Perspectives, 20 Oct 2010)

Key Quotes:

“To identify populations potentially at greatest risk for particulate matter (PM)- related health effects by evaluating epidemiologic studies that examined various characteristics that may influence susceptibility”

“definition for the term ‘susceptible population’ as it relates to PM: Individual- and population-level characteristics that increase the risk of PM-related health effects in a population including, but not limited to: genetic background, birth outcomes (e.g., low birth weight, birth defects), race, sex, lifestage, lifestyle (e.g., smoking status, nutrition) preexisting disease, SES (e.g., educational attainment, reduced access to health care), and characteristics that may modify exposure to PM (e.g., time spent outdoors).”

“Children exposed to comparable levels of PM are more susceptible than adults due to greater: time spent outdoors, activity levels, minute volume per unit body weight and lung surface area leading to an increased dose, all of which could lead to adverse effects on their developing lungs”

“Older adults also represent a potentially susceptible population compared to children or younger adults due to the higher prevalence of preexisting cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, which may also confer susceptibility to PM.”

“A multicity study found upwards of 75% greater risk of hospitalization for cardiac diseases with PM10 exposure in individuals with diabetes compared to non-diabetics”

“Overall, the epidemiologic studies evaluated in this review, ..identified characteristics of populations that may lead to increased susceptibility to PM-related health effects. This includes lifestage, specifically children and older adults; preexisting cardiovascular (i.e., CAD) and respiratory (i.e., asthma) diseases; genetic polymorphisms; and low SES, as measured by educational attainment and income”

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