Data from a new USC study shows a significant increase in the risk of severe outcomes for COVID-19 patients exposed to fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two common (and correlated) components of ambient air pollution in Southern California. Produced by ground and air traffic, industrial burning and other sources, these air pollutants can exacerbate the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus over both the short and long term. Researchers collaborated with Kaiser Permanente Southern California to examine a cohort of more than 74,000 COVID-19 patients diagnosed from March to August 2020. With detailed residential address history linked to Kaiser Permanente members’ electronic medical records, investigators were able to accurately predict exposure history for specific pollutants.
- American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
- NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Keck School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine COVID-19 Pandemic Research Center at USC