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Ultrafine dust pollution increases number of COPD patients: research
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.02.20 14:46
  • Updated 2018.02.20 16:09
  • comments 0

New research from Kangwon National University Hospital (KNUH) is linking ultrafine dust pollution to an increased rate of hospital visits by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

Ultrafine dust - dubbed a "silent killer" - is a complex material composed of air ion, carbon, and heavy metals, and is defined as particles smaller than 2.5 meters. Inhaling ultrafine dust has been known to induce cardiopulmonary diseases.

Professor Kim Woo-jin

The KNUH study led by Professor Kim Woo-jin analyzed the correlation of the number of hospital visits by COPD patients by gender and the components of the ultrafine dust (PM2.5) pollution in the Chuncheon region to find a significant relationship between the two.

By gender, women sought hospital treatment for COPD a day faster than men while men who sought treatment had significant amounts of aluminum, silicon, and elemental carbon, indicating a correlation between male COPD patients and ultrafine dust components.

“This study shows the effect of ultrafine dust on respiratory diseases and is meaningful in analyzing the association between the components of ultrafine dust and gender,” said Kim Woo-jin, director the hospital’s Environment Protection Center who led the study.

“We will contribute to gathering basic data to establish effective countermeasures for fine dust with future analysis of emission sources,” he added.

The findings were published in the International Journal of COPD.


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