DEC 22, 2022 9:00 AM PST

Air Purifiers Improve Heart Health in COPD Patients

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has shown that the use of portable home air purifiers can improve cardiovascular health in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD includes a range of lung diseases that block airflow to the lungs and make it more difficult to breathe. Indoor air pollution is a significant and often overlooked factor in respiratory health that is especially relevant to patients with COPD.

The study included 85 patients who were former smokers with moderate-to-severe COPD. Participants were randomized to receive either two portable air purifiers with HEPA and carbon filters or two placebo air purifiers with the filters removed. Participants’ heart and lung health were measured at one week, three months, and six months after receiving the portable air filters.

The results showed that all participants who received active air purifiers showed improved heart health as demonstrated by a 25% increase in heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is a common measure of heart health that examines the time between consecutive beats of the heart. A healthy heart adjusts its heart rate consistently to meet the needs of the body, and heart rate variability is associated with both physical fitness and overall health.

The authors noted that extremely small particulate matter polluting the home can pose a significant health risk, including increasing systemic inflammation and negatively impacting cardiovascular health. The results of this study indicate that air purifiers and other ways to improve air quality in the home may be an important way to improve overall health, especially for patients with preexisting heart or lung disease.

Sources: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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