Outdoor air pollution: a global perspective.
Although the air quality in Western countries has continued to improve over the past decades, rapid economic growth in developing countries has left air quality in many cities notoriously poor. The World Health Organization estimates that urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. The primary health concerns of outdoor air pollution come from particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ozone (O3). Short-term exposure to PM2.5 increases cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 has been linked to adverse perinatal outcomes and lung cancer. Excessive O3 exposure is known to increase respiratory morbidity. Patients with chronic cardiopulmonary diseases are more susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution. Counseling these patients about air pollution and the associated risks should be part of the regular management plans in clinical practice.
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