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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Living in damp river valleys leads to lung problems!

The results of a new study, the first of its kind, by researchers in the UK has shown that living in a river valley at low altitude can increase the risk of developing lung problems. It was carried out by a team from the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to assess the impact of weather, pollution and geography on the symptoms of people with chronic obstructivepulmonary disease (COPD).

The study has collated the first evidence to find a link between increased respiratory symptoms and lower altitude areas of river valleys. These are typically damp areas in which cool layers of air get trapped below layers of warmer air. Known as a temperature inversion, this leads to mists and fogs which keep suspended droplets of water in the air, causing humid conditions.

Prof Richard Lewis, one of the lead authors from the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Our study is the first to assess the impact that living in a river valley has on the symptoms of COPD patients. As a result of this unique combination of weather and climate, toxic particles and pollutants -- which would otherwise be small enough to be inhaled but subsequently exhaled -- become attached to droplets and are then retained within the lung causing exacerbation of symptoms."

For more detail the full article in ScienceDaily can be read here: Living in damp river valleys leads to lung problems, study suggests

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