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Breitner, Susanne; Steckling-Muschack, Nadine; Markevych, Iana; Zhao, Tianyu; Mertes, Hanna; Nowak, Dennis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7871-8686 and Heinrich, Joachim (2021): The Burden of COPD Due to Ozone Exposure in Germany. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt international, Vol. 118, No. 29,3: pp. 491-496

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Background: The chronic effects of ozone have only rarely been investigated in disease burden studies to date. Our goal was to determine this disease burden in Germany over the period 2007-2016, with particular attention to estimation based on effect estimates adjusted for particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Methods: The nationwide, high-spatial-resolution (2 km x 2 km), population-based exposure to ozone in the summer months (summer ozone) was calculated on the basis of modeled ozone data and population counts in Germany. Next, risk estimates derived from cohort studies were used to quantify the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Data on population counts, life expectancy, and mortality in Germany were used to reflect the situation across the country as accurately as possible. Results: The estimates of years of life lost (YLL) due to summer ozone ranged from 18.33 per 100 000 people (95% confidence interval [14.02;22.08]) in 2007 to 35.77 per 100 000 people [27.45;42.98] in 2015. These findings indicate that ozone affects the COPD burden independently of other harmful components of the air. No clear secular trend in the COPD burden can be seen over the period 2007 to 2016. Conclusion: Long-term exposure to ozone contributes to the COPD burden among the general population in Germany. As climate change may lead to a rise in the ozone concentration, more intensive research is required on the effects of ozone on health.

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