For patients with COVID-19, exposure to air pollution is associated with increased duration of hospitalization and with increased risk of adverse outcomes, according to two studies published online June 21 in the European Respiratory Journal.
Stijn Vos, from Hasselt University in Belgium, and colleagues recruited 328 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from two hospitals and modeled daily exposure levels for particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon using a high-resolution spatiotemporal model. The researchers found that an interquartile range increase in exposure in the week before admission was associated with increased duration of hospitalization (PM2.5: +4.22 days; NO2: +4.33 days). Similar effects on hospitalization duration were seen for long-term NO2 and black carbon exposure.
Jiawei Zhang, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues followed 3,721,810 Danish residents 30 years and older in the National COVID-19 Surveillance System. The associations of air pollutants with COVID-19 outcomes were estimated. The researchers found that during 14 months, 138,742 individuals were infected, 11,270 were hospitalized, and 2,557 died from COVID-19.