Friday, August 9, 2013

How Can Air Pollution Cause Perforated Appendices?

Ambient Ozone Concentrations and the Risk of Perforated and Nonperforated Appendicitis: A Multicity Case-Crossover Study(Gilaad G. Kaplan, Divine Tanyingoh, Elijah Dixon, Markey Johnson, Amanda J. Wheeler, Robert P. Myers, Stefania Bertazzon, Vineet Saini, Karen Madsen, Subrata Ghosh, and Paul J. Villeneuve, Environmental Health Perspectives. Jul. 11, 2013)

Also quoted here: Smoggy Days May Raise Your Odds for Burst Appendix(Health Day, July 11, 2013)
Today we review research conducted from data in a dozen Canadian cities that showed a significant link between short term increases in ground level ozone and the occurrence of perforated appendices – a concern especially for seniors living in urban areas with growing traffic air pollution. The risk increases by 22% for an increase of 16 ppb of ozone over the previous week. The authors caution that ozone may not be the cause but rather a marker.

English: Inflamed appendix removal by open surgery :
Inflamed appendix removal by open surgery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Key Quotes:

the investigators tracked rates of emergency care for appendicitis involving nearly 36,000 patients treated in 12 Canadian cities between 2004 and 2008.”

"short-term exposure to ambient ozone [in air] was associated with an increased number of hospital visits for appendicitis….the risk for perforated (burst) appendix rose by up to 22 percent with every 16 parts-per-billion rise of ozone in the air over the three to seven days prior to the appendicitis incident”

"highlights a previously unrecognized association between air pollutants such as ozone emitted by burning fossil fuels, and an increased risk for perforated appendicitis," "In very young patients and the elderly, perforated appendicitis can be a very severe condition and even lethal for these vulnerable populations, often due to a delay in diagnosis,"

The lifetime risk of appendicitis is approximately 1 in 15, and appendectomy for appendicitis is
amongst the most frequently performed operations in developed nations…..In the United States, appendicitis-related hospitalizations contribute to approximately $3 billion in hospital charges annually”

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