Air pollution is widely viewed as a serious threat to human health and a contributor to deaths. Air pollution appears to be linked to the progression of emphysema, according to epidemiological data. The objective of this study was to examine associations between air pollution and the progression of emphysema using a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. A systematic literature search was conducted using the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Medline, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science bibliographic databases. A random-effects model for the meta-analysis was implemented to summarize effect estimates of sufficiently comparable outcomes and pollutants (e.g.: particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and ozone), and the results were visualized in forest plots. We observed that a 1-ppb rise in O3 was associated with a 0.30 increase in the percent emphysema progression (95% CI: 0.02, 0.57, p < 0.05). In contrast, no significant association was found between PM2.5 or NO2 exposure and the percent change in emphysema. Increasing O3 concentrations may have an impact on and exacerbate human health conditions such as emphysema and respiratory diseases. Air quality and climate change should be concerns for future environmental policies and protection measures.
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