1 April 2011
Lung transplant patients living near a main road are twice as likely to die from organ rejection as other lung transplant patients, a study shows.
About half of all lung transplant patients develop bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome within 5 years of surgery. (This life-threatening syndrome is associated with rejection of the transplanted lungs.)
Of 281 patients in a Belgian study, 117 developed the syndrome, and one in four of the resulting deaths was attributable to living within 171 metres of a major road, the authors said (Thorax 2011, online 23 Mar).
"The observed impact of traffic-related air pollution is not insignificant and, if confirmed by other studies, has substantial clinical and public health implications", they wrote.
Last Reviewed: 01 April 2011