When people breathe in polluted air, the smallest particles from it penetrate through the lungs into the bloodvessels, causing inflammation and cellular stress. As a result, the inner surface of the arteries is damaged, they narrow and lose flexibility. Something similar happens when the coronavirus enters the body in the same way.
Thomas Munzel, one of the study authors and professor at the University. Johann Gutenberg in Germany
Polluted air is dangerous because it containssmall particles that, during inhalation, penetrate into the blood vessels. Thus, they cause inflammation and cellular stress. As a result, the inner surface of the arteries is damaged, they narrow and lose flexibility.
According to WHO estimates, every year due to pollutionatmospheric various harmful substances die about 7 million people. However, the real number may be an order of magnitude higher, because no serious research on the types of pollution has yet been carried out.
A group of scientists decided to find out how muchair pollution affects the course of coronavirus infection. To do this, they compared satellite maps of the prevalence of aerosols in the air of large cities in the world with how often their inhabitants died from COVID-19 in the first half of 2020.
As a result, it turned out that, for example, in the Czech Republic withair pollution was associated with about 29% of deaths from COVID-19, and in China, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium from 20 to 25%. The largest percentage was found in cities in East and South Asia: 35–40% of cases.
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