Science Today: Aspirin may halve air pollution harms


A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin might reduce the negative effects of air pollution exposure on lung function.

The researchers examined a subset of information collected from a cohort of 2,280 male veterans in the greater Boston area that had been given tests to ascertain their lung function. The average age of participants was 73 decades. The researchers analyzed the association between evaluation results, self-reported NSAID usage, and ambient particulate matter (PM) and black carbon in the month preceding the evaluation, while accounting for a number of factors, including the medical condition of this topic and whether he had been a smoker.

They discovered that the use of any NSAID almost Heard of the impact of PM on lung function, together with the institution consistent throughout all four per week air pollution measurements from equal to 28 days before the lung function evaluation.

Since nearly all the people from the study cohort who took NSAIDs used aspirin, the investigators say that the altering impact they discovered was chiefly from aspirin, but comprise that effects of non-aspirin NSAIDs are deserving of further research. Although the mechanism is unknown, the researchers speculate that NSAIDs mitigate inflammation brought on by air pollution.

“Our findings indicate that aspirin and other NSAIDs can protect the lungs from short term spikes in air pollution,” says first and corresponding author Xu Gao, PhD, a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Columbia Mailman School. “Obviously, it’s still important to reduce our vulnerability to air pollution, which can be connected to a range of negative health consequences, from cancer to cardiovascular disease”

“While environmental policies have made substantial progress toward reducing overall exposure to air pollution, even in areas with low levels of air pollution, short term spikes continue to be trivial,” says senior writer Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Columbia Mailman School. “Therefore, it’s very important to recognize a method to minimize those injuries.”

A previous study by Baccarelli discovered that B vitamins might also play a part in reducing the health impact of air pollution.