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    Researchers from MUB have begun a project investigating the impact of Polish smog on public health

    20.01.2022 15:26
    Author: Administrator UMB
    The Department of Invasive Cardiology at the Medical University of Bialystok, together with partners from the University of Lodz, the Medical University of Warsaw, and universities in Liverpool, Moscow, Prague and Skopje, has launched a large-scale study on the impact of air pollution in Eastern Poland on regional public health.
    "Our project will be carried out in the voivodships of Podlaskie, Lubelskie, Świętokrzyskie, Podkarpackie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie - areas characterized by unique natural values, large areas, and relatively low industrialization. The vast majority of air pollution studies have been conducted in heavily polluted areas where patients are exposed to extreme concentrations of pollutants. Given the small number of studies from the low polluted areas, we intend to analyze the relationship between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases in Eastern Poland". - informs the project leader - Łukasz Kuźma MD, PhD.
    This will be the first study of this type of pollution's impact on human health at this scale. Over 4,000,000,0000 variables affecting the risk of nearly one million deaths and one million hospitalizations will be analyzed. The project, funded by the National Science Centre, is scheduled for the years 2022-2025.
    The region of eastern Poland is characterized by low socioeconomic status; during cold seasons, suboptimal heating choices of residents pose a serious anthropogenic threat to air quality in the form of low emissions. Both poor heating choices and the specific geographic location of eastern Europe, especially during periods of frosty Russian weather characterized by high pressure, cold air, and sunshine, favor the formation of the phenomenon known as "Polish smog." Air pollution, rich in compounds such as PM2.5, PM10, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo(a)pyrene) from low emissions associated with household heating with solid fuels (coal, wood, and often waste), has adverse effects on the health and life of the population, particularly in the context of cardiovascular effects.
    The project will analyze the short- and long-term impact of air pollution on hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes, atrial fibrillation, and cardiovascular mortality, as well as for kidney disease and renal mortality. In addition, the impact of air pollution reduction in terms of mortality and morbidity will be evaluated. The final task of the project - through international cooperation - will be to relate the results obtained to the European scale.
    Łukasz Kuźma, together with a group of researchers, believes that the cause of this state is not only the level of air pollution itself but also the composition and structure of emissions associated with the "Polish smog". Hence, the results of the project can be expected to make a significant contribution to the development of public health sciences for at least three reasons. First, they will provide insights not only into the impact of air pollution on the prevalence of the conditions assessed by the project but also into the susceptibility to air pollution of different subgroups. Second, a model will be created linking the prevalence of the studied diseases to air quality, individual characteristics, and overall economic performance in the regions analyzed. Third, in the future, the project results may provide a good basis for conclusions and recommendations for public health policy. In addition to its scientific contribution, the project may provide insights valuable to both regional and national environmental policymakers.
    Research Team:
    From MUB:
    Project Leader: Łukasz Kuźma, MD, PhD.
    Prof. Sławomir Dobrzycki, MD; Prof. Hanna Gajewska-Bachórzewska, MD; Prof. Anna Tomaszuk-Kazberuk, MD and Paweł Kralisz MD, PhD; Anna Kurasz, Emil Julian Dąbrowski, Michał Święczkowski, Szymon Pogorzelski MD, Dominka Musiałowska, MD, PhD; Małgorzata Zalewska-Adamiec, MD, PhD
    From other centers:
    • Prof. Sylwia Roszkowska (UŁ), Prof. Jolanta Małyszko, MD (WUM)
    • Prof. Gregory Y. H. Lip, MD, FRCP, DFM, FACC, FESC
    Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Liverpool and Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital, Liverpool, UK
    • Prof. Vladimir Tesar, MD
    FERA, FASN, Department of Nephrology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
    • Prof. Elena Zakharova, MD
    Nephrology Department, Citiy Hospital of n.a. S.P. Botkin, Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Moscow, Russian Federation
    • Prof. Goce A. Spasovski, MD
    FERA, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, University of Skopje.