IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2502: Living Well with Pollution? The Impact of the Concentration of PM2.5 on the Quality of Life of Patients with Asthma (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
While the negative influence of environmental pollution on the respiratory system is well established, especially for people with bronchial hyper-reactivity, the impact of particulate matter on quality of life in asthma patients is not well understood. Three hundred adult asthma patients were recruited for a study; for each patient, the daily concentrations of particulate matter of 2.5 µm or less in diameter (PM2.5) were recorded from air quality monitoring stations. The study was conducted over two weeks. After two weeks, the patients filled out the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ), evaluating the quality of their lives throughout the monitored period. Patients exposed to a higher concentration of PM2.5 had significantly lower AQLQ scores. Every 10 µg/m3 of an increase in the concentration of PM2.5 resulted in a decrease of the AQLQ score by 0.16. All domains of quality of life (symptoms, activity limitations, emotional functioning, and environmental stimuli) assessed in the questionnaire were negatively affected by PM2.5. These findings provide an important argument in favor of educating physicians and patients and raising awareness about the detrimental health effects of air pollution. Improving the quality of life of people with asthma requires an immediate and substantial reduction of air pollution.