A new study provides the first evidence that people with higher body mass index (BMI) may have a greater response to ozone than leaner people. Short-term exposure to atmospheric ozone has long been known to cause a temporary drop in lung function in many people. This is the first study in humans to look at whether body weight influenced how much lung function falls after acute ozone exposure. Ozone is formed in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight from other pollutants emitted from vehicles and other sources.
Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed data on young (1835 years), healthy, non-smoking men and women to see if body mass index (BMI)a measure of the amount of fat a person hashad an effect on lung response to acute ozone exposure. The study published this month in the journal Inhalation Toxicology found that ozone response was greater with increasing BMI.
It has been known for a long time that in response to short-term exposure to ozone lung function tends to temporarily drop in many people. There has recently been interest in why some peoples lung function drops more than others - - age and perhaps genetics, as well as diet may play a role, said NIEHS researcher and co-author Stephanie London, M.D. We were intrigued by recent mouse studies that showed that obesity increases lung responses to ozone and wanted to see whether this applied in humans.
To examine the question of whether higher body mass index influences ozone responses in humans, the investigators took advantage of an earlier study led by Milan J. Hazucha and colleagues at the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology /UNC and the USEPA Human Studies Facility in Chapel Hill, N.C. From this study, BMI was determined in 197 subjects who had bee
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NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences