Older adults may be at increased risk of being hospitalised for lung and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes following long-term exposure to air pollution, according to a new study.
The research, published in the journal PLoS One, is the first to study the link between long-term effects of exposure to fine particles in the air and rates of hospital admissions.
The researchers used prediction models, based on satellite observations, emissions, traffic and weather data, to predict levels of fine air particles in the USA. The researchers compared their findings with hospital admission records for patients aged over 65 years, for the years 2000-2006.
The results found that long-term rates of admissions for pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes were higher in locations with higher long-term average particle concentrations.
The findings also suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution increased, so did admission rates to hospitals.