THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Short-term and long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) pollution is a risk factor for in-hospital stroke-related death, according to a study published online May 25 in Neurology.

Miao Cai, Ph.D., from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues characterized the association between ambient PM of different sizes (PM ≤ 1 µm in aerodynamic diameter [PM1], PM2.5, and PM10) and in-hospital case fatality among stroke patients in China from 2013 to 2019. Seven-day and annual averages of PM prior to hospitalization were estimated.

The researchers identified 32,140 in-hospital stroke fatalities among 3,109,634 stroke hospitalizations (case fatality rate, 1.03 percent). Each 10 µg/m3 increase in seven-day (short-term) average exposure to PM was associated with increased in-hospital case fatality, with odds ratios of 1.058, 1.037, and 1.025 for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10, respectively. For annual averages (long-term), similar but larger odds ratios were seen (1.240, 1.105, and 1.090, respectively). PM10 was associated with the largest potential reducible fraction in in-hospital case fatality for short- and long-term exposure (10 and 21.1 percent, respectively) in counterfactual analyses, followed by PM1 and PM2.5.

“Our study includes measurements of PM1, which may be small enough to be inhaled deeply into lungs, pass through lung tissue, and circulate in the bloodstream,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Obtaining a deeper understanding of the risk factors of all particulate matter sizes and the magnitude of their possible effects may help reduce the number of deaths and improve the outcomes for people with stroke.”

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