_Fumes and Plumes

Drexel researchers found a significant link between elevated air pollution and the occurrence of several chronic health conditions.

_Longjian Liu

Liu is an associate professor in the School of Public Health, with research focuses on nutrition and diet, Asian health, early detection of cancer, longitudinal data analysis and more.

Cities with heavy pollution are slowly harming their residents, according to a review of data by a Drexel team of public health epidemiologists, environmental health and environmental engineering experts.

The team, led by Associate Professor Longjian Liu, found that heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension, along with all-cause mortality, were found in a greater percentage of people living in cities and counties with a higher concentration of air pollution indicators — which were primarily in the northeastern and southern parts of the country.

“If we are able to identify and control the risk factors, then we should be able to prevent or significantly reduce the occurrence of these diseases, which are the leading causes of death in the country,” says Liu.

Liu and his team will continue to analyze data — looking at pollution levels during different times of year and different neighborhoods within and between cities and compared to other countries — to measure the impact of climate change and air pollution on environmental health disparity and public health in urban populations. 


Researchers compared daily air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency and health outcomes data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found the greatest correlations in the northeastern and southern parts of the country..