Air quality in nursing homes may be harmful

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A recent study of March, 2015 in the European Respiratory Journal reveals astonishing news: the air quality in nursing homes affects lung health of residents. The study was realized in 50 various nursing homes in seven countries.

Poor air quality affects resident’s lungs

Along with age, the human body becomes more fragile to external factors which may weaken its condition. Such is the case of pollution or the indoor poor air quality.

On March, 2015 a study was published in the European Respiratory Journal regarding the negative effects of air quality in nursing homes. The study was realized in 50 different residence in seven countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Poland and Sweden. 600 residents participated at this study. Their average age was 82 years old. Previous health tests were made, especially to verify the patients’ lung condition.air quality in retirement Home

In order to verify the level of air pollutants, specialists collected data on five indoor air pollutants: PM10, PM0.1, formaldehyde, NO2 and O3. On the long term, it seems that exposing oneself to high levels of PM10 and NO2 lead to breathlessness and cough. High levels of PM0.1 were associated with wheeze, whereas high concentrations of formaldehyde were linked with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr Isabella Annesi-Maesano, lead author of the study, commented: “Our findings have shown an independent effect of several indoor air pollutants on the lung health of the elderly living in nursing homes. This is a worrying problem since the body’s ability to cope with harmful air pollutants decreases as we age. Nursing homes should do more to prevent indoor air pollution by limiting its sources and by improving ventilation in their buildings. The respiratory health of residents should also be checked on a regular basis.”

Dan Smyth, Chair of the European Lung Foundation, said: “The majority of lung diseases are preventable therefore we must focus on strategies that target the risk factors linked to these diseases. These findings add to a body of evidence confirming that indoor air pollution is one of these risk factors. We must raise awareness of this, through campaigns such as Healthy Lungs for Life, to ensure that the public, patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers understand the importance of breathing clean air to help prevent disease.”

Specialists are struggling to find answers and prevention methods in order to improve air quality in nursing home.

Source: Press Release

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