the Italian study reveals the link

A new Italian study very extensive, cared for by the integrated university hospital of Verona and presented in Milan it established a link between some autoimmune diseases that mainly affect the bones rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, And pollution from pm10 to 2.5 very present in Italian cities, especially those in the Po Valley.

The study included the participation of 59 thousand women and analyzed the effects of air pollution not only on the incidence of diseases, but also on the effectiveness of pharmacological therapies, which are often, according to what research reports, made less effective by particulate matter.

The study on pollution and rheumatoid arthritis

The integrated university hospital of Verona under the leadership of Dr Giovanni Adami oversaw a study involving 59 thousand Italian women and which found links between air pollution, in particular particulate matter measuring less than 10 thousandths of a millimeter and 2.5 thousandths of a millimetre, and some autoimmune bone diseases, on all rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Air pollution, present in Italy especially in the north, in the Po Valley, among the areas with the worst air quality in Europe due to its geographical conformation and the large number of industrial and livestock activities that are concentrated there, favors with an increase of at least 15% incidence of these pathologies. The study also found that during periods of increased pollution, the women who participated in the research experienced an increase in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Finally, the areas with the greatest concentration of pm10 and 2.5 they would also be those in which doctors are most often forced to remodulate therapies against these diseases. This suggests that pollution also undermines the effectiveness of treatments, which in recent years have greatly improved the condition of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, almost eliminating excess mortality due to this pathology.

The consequences on therapies and disease

The director of the Rheumatology Unit of the Verona Hospital, Maurizio Rossini he explained to the local Verona newspaper the Arena the possible reasons for the greater incidence of these diseases in the most polluted areas of Italy: “A high concentration of particulate matter in the atmosphere could reduce exposure to UVB solar rays, with a consequent decrease in the body's ability to produce vitamin D and therefore a deficit in bone mineralization” explained the doctor.

“These and other scientific evidence, produced internationally in recent years, indicate that air pollution may be responsible for the onset, severity, reactivation and lack of response to therapies of some illnesses rheumatological and should in all respects be considered a risk factor to be mitigated” Rossini then concluded.

According to data from the Umberto Veronesi Foundation, in Italy every year between 2 and 4 cases of rheumatoid arthritis occur for every 10 thousand adults. In our country they would almost be there 400 thousand people affected by this pathology, one person for every 250 inhabitants. Confirmation that pollution is a risk factor for the onset and worsening of this disease could allow for better prevention campaigns among those at risk. Likewise, the link discovered with the effectiveness of treatments would allow the national health system to rationalize resources while saving.