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Although the attention of the world and the global health community specifically is deservedly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, other determinants of health continue to have large impacts and may also interact with COVID-19. Air pollution is one crucial example. Established evidence from other respiratory viruses and emerging evidence for COVID-19 specifically indicates that air pollution alters respiratory defense mechanisms leading to worsened infection severity. Air pollution also contributes to co-morbidities that are known to worsen outcomes amongst those infected with COVID-19, and air pollution may also enhance infection transmission due to its impact on more frequent coughing. Yet despite the massive disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reasons for optimism: broad societal lockdowns have shown us a glimpse of what a future with strong air pollution measures could yield. Thus, the urgency to combat air pollution is not diminished, but instead heightened in the context of the pandemic.

Original publication

DOI

10.5334/gh.948

Type

Journal article

Journal

Glob Heart

Publication Date

28/01/2021

Volume

16

Keywords

air pollution, cardiovascular disease, climate, cvd, environmental health impacts, Acute Disease, Air Pollution, American Heart Association, COVID-19, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic Disease, Environmental Health, Europe, Global Health, Heart Disease Risk Factors, Humans, Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, SARS-CoV-2, Societies, Medical, United States