BOSTON —New research has found that aspirin could protect our lungs from air pollution.
According to the EPA, air pollution has been known to have an adverse effect on respiratory health.
Exposure to particulate matter in the air can inflame and irritate lung cells and impair lung function.
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine explored whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, could protect the lungs from pollution.
Researchers analyzed data from 2,280 male veterans in the greater Boston area who were given tests to determine lung function.
According to a Columbia University press release, the study examined the relationship between the lung test results, self reported NSAID use, and ambient particulate matter and black carbon in the month before the test.
They found that the use of NSAIDs, mainly aspirin, reduced the effect of particulate matter on lung function by half.
Aspirin appeared to have a protective effect regardless of age, health status, or tobacco use.
Although the mechanism remains unknown, researchers suspect NSAIDs may be mitigating the inflammation triggered by air pollution.
According to study author Xu Gao, the findings suggest NSAIDs could protect people from short-term spikes of air pollution.