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|December 14, 2019|
Study: Tobacco use and air pollution increase odds of tuberculosis
LOMA LINDA – (INT) A study recently published by researchers at the Loma Linda University Medical Center found that respiratory health and rates of tuberculosis in low-income communities may be severely impacted by controllable external factors.
Tuberculosis (TB) — a curable and preventable disease — is now the world’s leading cause of death from an infectious agent, surpassing HIV and AIDS.
The study found that sources of air pollution considered included exposure to smoked tobacco, secondhand tobacco smoke, and smoke from indoor cooking fires, burning crop waste and burning trash outside.
This study explored what exposure to multiple sources of air pollution did to impact rates of TB.
“We often see the same issues in lower income communities here in the US,” said Anne Berit Petersen, PhD, MPH, RN assistant professor for Loma Linda University School of Nursing and the study’s lead author. “If we look at these factors in terms of poverty, we’re seeing a lot more avoidable cases of tuberculosis in poorer communities. Often the places with the poorest air quality have the most impoverished people,” she said.
The study reported that more than half of the world’s TB cases in 2017 came from the Western Pacific region.
Story Date: December 2, 2019