Appendicitis and Air Pollution: A Possible Link
Hundreds of studies about the various negative effects of air pollution have already been conducted and the results of those studies are available in dozens of scientific journals and other publications. Many of those studies concern links between asthma and other respiratory conditions and air pollution, but a Canadian study is suggesting that there may be a link between air pollution and something rather surprising: appendicitis. The evidence that has been collected by this intriguing study shows a possible link between appendicitis and elevated levels of air pollution typically generated by automobiles.
About The Study
The study conducted several years ago by researchers at the University of Calgary. The team was led by Dr. Gilaad Kaplan, who published his findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and was performed in conjunction with researchers at the University of Toronto over a period of about seven years.
The researchers took a closer look at 5,191 people who had checked into hospitals due to appendicitis during that period of time. 52.5 percent of the cases of appendicitis struck during the summer months, between April and September. Interestingly, this is also when the weather is warmest and when people spend the most time outside. Upon closer examination, researchers discovered that a noticeable increase in hospital admissions due to appendicitis occurred during days that had high concentrated levels of nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of car exhaust and a major component of air pollution. The study further noted that cases of appendicitis had gone up considerably in industrialized nations right along with high air pollution levels.
What Is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is a potentially life threatening condition that involves the inflammation and infection of the appendix.
The appendix is a small tube that is attached to the colon. People who come down with appendicitis typically experience the sudden onset of extreme abdominal pain. If not treated and attended to promptly, the appendicitis can result in the bursting of the appendix. Upon bursting, the appendix releases a flood of dangerous toxins into the abdomen. An infection can quickly set in, and a person can easily die at that point.
Without a doubt, appendicitis is not something to be taken lightly. Any time a person is experiencing extreme abdominal pain, it should be checked out right away. Ignoring or disregarding the pain can lead to very serious trouble. When caught in time, appendicitis is treated with what is known as an appendectomy in which the appendix is removed from the body altogether. Appendectomies are among the most common surgeries performed in the United States today.
Implications of the Study
The study by the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto raises major concerns, especially in the medical community. Appendicitis is a very serious condition. The more cases that develop, the more crowded conditions at local hospitals are bound to be. Appendicitis is particularly dangerous for the elderly, so increased pollution that results in more cases of appendicitis is especially worrisome. Because appendicitis seems to be most closely linked to nitrogen dioxide - which is found in car exhaust - there is no reason to believe that people living inside or outside of major cities are immune to the problem.
What You Can Do
Since nitrogen dioxide is so prevalent in today's world and the chances of its levels dropping significantly any time soon are incredibly thin. People need to take matters into their own hands and the indoor air quality of your home is the best place to start. You spend the majority of your time indoors, so making the air in your home clean and healthy makes sense for many great reasons. Using a room HEPA air purifier is the best way to do this.
Clean Your Indoor Air with HEPA Air Purifiers
An air purifier with a HEPA filter brings a host of excellent health benefits. It's even more apparent that the indoor air quality of your home is critical knowing what we now do about a possible link between appendicitis and air pollution.
- Administration Staff