There is considerable epidemiological evidence indicating that air pollution has adverse effects on human health and is closely related to respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These effects, which can be divided into short- and long-term effects, can manifest as an exacerbation of existing symptoms, impaired lung function, and increased hospitalization and mortality rates. Long-term exposure to air with a high concentration of pollutants may also increase the incidence of COPD. The combined effects of different pollutants may become more complex in the future; hence, there is a need for more intensive research on specific at-risk populations, and formulating corresponding protective strategies is crucial. We aimed to review the epidemiological evidence on the effect of air pollution on COPD, the possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this effect, as well as protective measures against the effects of air pollutants in patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalChronic Diseases and Translational Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Air pollutant
  • Air pollution
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Health effect


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