Air Pollution May Compromise Lung Transplant Patients

Those near major roads more likely to develop lung disease or to die

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Lung transplant patients who have high exposure to traffic-related air pollution may be at increased risk for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) and death, according to research published online March 23 in Thorax.

Tim S. Nawrot, Ph.D., of Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium, and colleagues sought to assess the association between proximity of the home to major roads and BOS and mortality in 288 patients who received lung transplants between 1997 and 2009.

The researchers found that patients who lived within 171 meters of a major road were about twice as likely to develop BOS and to die than patients living farther away from major roads. For each 10-fold increase in distance from major roads, the adjusted hazard ratios of death and BOS were 0.72 and 0.57, respectively. There was an inverse relationship between proximity to a major road and plasma C-reactive protein levels, neutrophil percentage, and interleukin-6 concentration in bronchoalveolar lavage.

"Traffic-related air pollution appears to constitute a serious risk of BOS and mortality after lung transplantation," the authors write.

A co-author disclosed financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline.

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