HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Smog linked to bleeding stomach ulcers in elderly

By Lisa Rapaport, reuters.com

129 days ago   Article ID# 4209658
Original URL

 

LONDON, U K (reuters.com) - Older adults may be more likely to have bleeding stomach ulcers on days when the air has higher levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant produced by car exhaust and power plants, a recent study in Hong Kong suggests.

The researchers focused on what’s known as peptic ulcers, or painful sores lining the stomach or small intestine, which are often caused by bacterial infections but have also been linked to drinking, smoking and certain medications. Untreated bleeding ulcers can lead to bloody vomit or stool, anemia and life-threatening blood loss that requires hospitalization.

Researchers examined whether short-term spikes in air pollution could also influence the risk of serious bleeds, and estimated a 7.6 percent increased risk of emergency admissions for bleeding peptic ulcers during five-day periods with higher average nitrogen dioxide levels.

“We already knew that air pollution exposure may alter intestinal immunity, increase gut permeability and influence intestinal microbial composition, which may contribute to the development of various intestinal diseases,” said senior study author Wai-Keung Leung of the University of Hong Kong.

“This is the first time that the association between air pollution and peptic ulcer bleeding, one of the most important complications of peptic ulcer, is being reported,” Leung said by email.

For the study, researchers examined data on air pollution levels in Hong Kong and 8,566 emergency admissions for bleeding peptic ulcer in adults 65 and older from 2005 to 2010.

In addition to nitrogen dioxide, they also looked at concentrations of ozone, an unstable form of oxygen produced when various types of traffic and industrial pollution react with sunlight; sulfur dioxide, a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion and refining minerals like copper, aluminum and iron; and so-called PM 2.5, a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that can include dust, dirt, soot and smoke.

They also considered factors that can influence air quality like temperature, humidity and other weather conditions.

Out of all the air pollutants, only elevated nitrogen dioxide levels were independently associated with an increased risk of emergency admissions for bleeding peptic ulcer, the study team reports in The Lancet Planetary Health.

One limitation of the study is its use of air quality readings on the date of the emergency admission to examine the link between the pollutants and bleeding peptic ulcers because, the authors note, it’s possible some people might have developed symptoms triggered several days before they went to the hospital.

Researchers also didn’t have data on other risk factors for bleeding peptic ulcer such as infections with H. pylori bacteria or regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.

The results from Asian residents of Hong Kong also might differ from what would be found in other racial or ethnic groups because some people can have a genetic predisposition to this health problem.

An earlier study in Canada with a mostly white population didn’t find an association between nitrogen dioxide and bleeding peptic ulcer, the author of that study, Dr. Gilaad Kaplan of the University of Calgary, writes in an accompanying editorial.

However, residents of Hong Kong were exposed to much higher levels of nitrogen dioxide than people in the Canadian study, Kaplan notes in the editorial.

“Air pollution is a modifiable risk factor that is linked to diseases throughout the body from the respiratory system to the cardiovascular system, with growing evidence that it may influence the gastrointestinal tract,” Kaplan told Reuters Health by email.

“As a modifiable risk factor, people who are at risk for the adverse health effects of air pollution can take action to protect themselves on days when air pollution levels spike locally by avoiding larger sources of pollution when reasonably possible (e.g. avoiding jogging near heavy traffic, working earlier in the day to avoid the worst of rush hour traffic),” Kaplan added. “Moreover, society needs to prioritize actions to continue to improve the air quality of cities.”

Copyright 2017 reuters.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 129 days ago   Article ID# 4209658

   

View All Actions >>

Climate
Oceans
Deforestation
Pollution
Wildlife
<< Return To Environment News

Action Center

Climate change will bring more and more heat waves

Action: Climate Change

The heat in Malaysia often feels next to unbearable. For days on end, the sun is scorching and the heat is sweltering. That, ...

End Phosphate Mining in Manatee County

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The expansion of phosphate mining in Manatee County would threaten freshwater resources in the Myakka and Peace River watersh ...

Amazon basin deforestation could disrupt distant rainforest by remote climate connection

Action: Stop Deforestation

The ongoing deforestation around the fringes of the Amazon may have serious consequences for the untouched deeper parts of th ...

Stop coal mining assault on this roadless forest

Action: Stop Pollution

President Trump has been clear since day one that he’s turning over the nation’s public lands and environment to King Coa ...

Defend our wildlife from the search for Atlantic oil

Action: Save Our Oceans

From Maine to Florida, people along the East Coast strongly oppose offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean -- yet ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright The Charity Vault All rights reserved.