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New Study Calculates Mortality and Loss of Life Expectancy Caused by Air Pollution

Air pollution is considered a major environmental risk factor in the incidence of certain diseases such as asthma, ventricular hypertrophy, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. A recent study suggests that the mortality rate and global loss of life expectancy due to air pollution may be higher than that caused by smoking, infectious diseases, and violence.

For their study, the researchers created a Global Exposure Mortality Model to calculate worldwide exposure to air pollution and the effects on global mortality and loss of life expectancy.

The researchers found that global mortality from exposure to air pollution was 8.8 million premature deaths in 2015. Loss of life expectancy was estimated to be 2.9 years. This is higher than mortality rates and loss of life expectancy resulting from smoking, HIV/AIDs, violence, and parasitic diseases such as malaria.

Mortality caused by air pollution was found to be highest in East Asia (35%) and South Asia (32%). Mortality caused by air pollution was found to be 11% in Africa, 9% in Europe, and 6% in North and South America. The lowest mortality rates were in Australia at 1.5%.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the University Medical Center Mainz. It was published on March 3, 2020 in the journal Cardiovascular Research.

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