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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 60(5); 2017 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2017;60(5):391-398.
Published online May 29, 2017.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2017.60.5.391   
Adverse health effects of particulate matter
Sun Young Kyung, Sung Hwan Jeong
Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Hospital, Incheon, Korea. jsw@gilhospital.com
Particulate matter (PM) is known to have serious health effects in individuals with respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have shown that they also have noxious effects on cerebrovascular, metabolic, and neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as pregnancy. The aim of this study is to review the various diseases associated with PM in each human organ. Regarding respiratory diseases, PM has been associated with increased acute exacerbation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma, and several other respiratory diseases, resulting in increased hospitalization and mortality. In addition, PM increases the risk of lung cancer and accelerates the decline of lung function. Individuals with cardiovascular conditions such as ischemic heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, arrhythmia, and atherosclerosis have been also found to exhibit increased morbidity and mortality when exposed to PM. PM also has been reported to cause insulin resistance and to induce increasing rates of diabetes. During pregnancy, prolonged exposure to PM has been associated with increased rates of low birth weight and preterm birth. In individuals with neurological diseases, exposure to PM reduces cognitive ability and memory, and increases stroke incidence. It has been reported that PM also exacerbates psychiatric conditions, particularly depression and anxiety disorder. Thus, PM has been shown to exert very noxious health effects on the human body, with impacts including effects on respiratory and cerebrovascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric diseases, and low birth weight.
Key Words: Asthma, Cardiovascular diseases, Lung neoplasms, Particulate matter, Pulmonary diseases


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