Coronavirus: How air pollution is responsible for increased covid deaths

Long-term exposure of humans to air pollution is associated with an increased risk of death from Covid-19, according to a new study by German scientists, who for the first time made country-specific estimates of coronavirus deaths. may be due to the effects of air pollutants.For Greece this percentage is estimated at 9% (as in Spain), ie almost one in ten deaths due to coronavirus could have been avoided if air pollution had not aggravated the situation The researchers, led by Professors Jos Lelliveld (Max Planck Institute of Chemistry and Cyprus Institute in Nicosia) and Thomas Mintzel (Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center and the German Center Cardiovascular Research »of the European Society of Cardiology, estimate that about 15% of deaths worldwide pandemic (one in seven) may be related to the chronic exposure of many people to air pollution. Shock rates in Europe In Europe in particular the associated death rate is estimated at 19% (almost one in five), North America at 17%, while in East Asia at about 27%. In individual countries, air pollution is estimated to have contributed to 29% of coronavirus deaths in the Czech Republic, 27% in China, 26% in Germany, 22% in Switzerland, 21% in Belgium, 19% in the Netherlands, 18% in France, 16% in Sweden, 15% in Italy, 14% in Britain, 12% in Brazil, 11% in Portugal, 8% in Ireland and Cyprus, 6% in Israel, 3% in Australia and only 1% in New Zealand.Clarifications The researchers said that these rates were estimates “of the rate of deaths from Covid-19 that could have been avoided if the population had been exposed over time to lower levels of air pollution, emissions and other fossil fuels.” anthropogenic pollutants “. They also stressed that “these percentages do not suggest a direct cause-and-effect relationship between air pollution and Covid-19 mortality, although this is possible. They relate to direct and indirect relationships between pollution and Covid-19, e.g. aggravating comorbidities (other chronic diseases) that can lead to death from a coronavirus infection. ”The study combined epidemiological data for both Covid-19 and air pollution with satellite air pollution data. microparticles (PM2.5). When people inhale such tiny particles, as previous studies have shown, they end up not only in the lungs, but also in the blood vessels, causing inflammation and severe oxidative stress in the body. Damage to the arteries leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 also causes similar damage to blood vessels when it enters the body through the lungs. “If long-term exposure to air pollution and Covid-19 infection are combined, then we have an additional health burden, especially of the heart and blood vessels, which makes a person more vulnerable and less resistant to Covid-19. “If someone already has heart disease, then air pollution and coronavirus infection will cause problems that can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and stroke,” said Dr. Mitchell. role in coronavirus over-transmission episodes, “said Dr. Lillevelent. “The microparticles appear to increase the activity of a receptor on the cell surface, ACE-2, which is known to be involved in the way the coronavirus infects cells. “So we have a double ‘hit’: air pollution damages the lungs and increases ACE-2 activity, which in turn facilitates the virus to enter the lungs and possibly the blood vessels and the heart.” “Our findings show that there are potentially substantial benefits from reducing exposure to air pollution,” the researchers said. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news. See all the latest news from Greece and the world at

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