Association of Long-term Ambient #Ozone Exposure With Respiratory Morbidity in #Smokers

..In adjusted analysis, a 5-ppb (parts per billion) increase in ozone concentration was associated with a greater percentage of emphysema (β = 0.94; 95% CI, 0.25-1.64; P = .007) and percentage of air trapping (β = 1.60; 95% CI, 0.16-3.04; P = .03); worse scores for the mMRC Dyspnea Scale (β = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.03-0.17; P = .008), CAT (β = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.05-1.26; P = .04), and SGRQ (β = 1.47; 95% CI, 0.01-2.93; P = .048); lower FEV1% predicted value (β = −2.50; 95% CI, −4.42 to −0.59; P = .01); and higher odds of any exacerbation (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12-1.66; P = .002) and severe exacerbation (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.07-1.76; P = .01). No association was found between historical ozone exposure and chronic bronchitis, COPD, airway wall thickness, or 6-minute walk test result.

Conclusions and Relevance This study found that long-term historical ozone exposure was associated with reduced lung function, greater emphysema and air trapping on CT scan, worse patient-reported outcomes, and increased respiratory exacerbations for individuals with a history of heavy smoking. The association between ozone exposure and adverse respiratory outcomes suggests the need for continued reevaluation of ambient pollution standards that are designed to protect the most vulnerable members of the US population.

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