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The impact of acute air pollution fluctuations on bronchiectasis pulmonary exacerbation: a case-crossover analysis

Pieter Goeminne, Bianca Cox, Simon Finch, et al.
Eur Respir J 2018;52:1702557

The exact causes of pulmonary exacerbation in patients with bronchiectasis currently remains unknown. Although assumed to be primarily the result of a bacterial or viral infection, current antibiotic therapies used to treat these occurrences only have modest effects on patient outcomes. To ensure these patients are effectively managed, further understanding of the causes behind these exacerbations is required.

In this study, researchers aimed to understand the relationship between acute pollution fluctuations and the risk of pulmonary exacerbations in patients with confirmed bronchiectasis.

Results demonstrated that each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM10 and NO2 concentration produced a 4.5% and 3.2% increase in the risk of having a pulmonary exacerbation that same day. In addition, they demonstrated that the relative risk of pulmonary exacerbations in patients with bronchiectasis was significantly higher during spring and summer, when pollution exposure was at its highest.

Researchers concluded that air pollution fluctuations were significantly associated with increased exacerbation risk in bronchiectasis, and that research is required into a potential causal link between these two factors to understand this relationship further.

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