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Publication date: 
January 28, 2021

Abstract

Although the attention of the world and the global health community specifically is deservedly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, other determinants of health continue to have large impacts and may also interact with COVID-19. Air pollution is one crucial example. Established evidence from other respiratory viruses and emerging evidence for COVID-19 specifically indicates that air pollution alters respiratory defense mechanisms leading to worsened infection severity. Air pollution also contributes to co-morbidities that are known to worsen outcomes amongst those infected with COVID-19, and air pollution may also enhance infection transmission due to its impact on more frequent coughing. Yet despite the massive disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reasons for optimism: broad societal lockdowns have shown us a glimpse of what a future with strong air pollution measures could yield. Thus, the urgency to combat air pollution is not diminished, but instead heightened in the context of the pandemic.

Citation: 

Brauer M, Casadei B, Harrington RA, Kovacs R, Sliwa K, Expert Group the WAP. Taking a Stand Against Air Pollution – The Impact on Cardiovascular Disease: A Joint Opinion from the World Heart Federation, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and the European Society of Cardiology. Global Heart. 28 January 2021 doi: 10.5334/gh.948.