There exists a link between ambient exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and years of life lost (YLL) in older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in Chemosphere.

Researchers explored association between NO2 and YLL among older patients with COPD from 37 major cities in China from 2013 to 2017. They used general addictive models to assess city-specific changes in YLL and evaluated economic loss to due excess YLL due to NO2 associated COPD.

Troublingly, the results showed that an NO2 increase of 10 μg/m3 in NO2 over two days led to 0.94% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-1.31) relative increase in COPD YLL. They observed higher estimated effects were found in the warm season compared with cooler temperatures. Moreover, the results showed an economic impact, as YLL accounted for 0.04% (95% CI, 0.02-0.05) of the gross domestic product in China during the same period.

“The findings provide evidence on the impact of short-term NO2 exposure on COPD YLL in the elderly, which indicated more stringent control of NO2 pollution and highlighted the need to protect the elderly,” the researchers concluded.

Keywords:  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Nitrogen dioxide, Potential modifications, The elderly, Years of life lost