Air Pollution

Learning Goal: I’m working on a biology question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

The four graphs below show how more exposure to air pollution (X-axis) can increase the risk of dying from specific diseases (Y-axis). However, the risk of dying does not increase at a constant rate as air pollutants become more concentrated. For this question, look at the graph for your selected disease and quantify how much the risk ratio (risk of mortality; bold solid line) changes from a pollutant concentration of 0 𝜇

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μg/m3 to 25 𝜇μg/m3. In other words, what happens to the risk of mortality as exposure to air pollution increases? Be sure to mention specific values when describing the relationship between exposure and risk ratio.

  • Note: Lines on the graphs were created using different common statistical methods/models to better characterize any relationship between air pollution and mortality risk. For this course, we will be focusing on the non-linear association (solid bold line) when interpreting the figure.
    Association of air pollution exposure and disease-related mortality. Diseases shown are ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.

Bold solid line represents non-linear association estimated using restricted cubic spline (3 knots); dashed line represents 95% CIs for the non-linear, and dotted line represents linear association.

  1. How does air pollution contribute to the development and/or worsening of this disease? Discuss the specific physiological changes associated with your disease and how continued exposure to air pollution can make symptoms worse. Answering this question will require you to do some outside research. Please cite all sources fully, including in-text citations, and a full reference list at the end of your post.