Traffic pollution linked to death of lung transplant patients

LUNG transplant patients living near a main road are twice as likely to die from organ rejection than other lung transplant patients, a study shows.

About half of all lung transplant patients develop bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome within five years of surgery. Of 281 patients in a Belgian study, 117 developed the syndrome, and one in four resulting deaths was attributable to living within a 171 m radius of a major road, the authors said.

“The observed impact of traffic-related air pollution is not insignificant and, if confirmed by other studies, has substantial clinical and public health implications,” they wrote. 

Thorax 2011, in press