NEW DELHI: Years of exposure to high levels of pollutants has left people in Delhi-NCR with structural changes in lungs that may cause respiratory problems in future. They may also develop serious complications due to this if they contract infections causing diseases such as Covid-19.
According to Dr Nitin P Ghonge, senior consultant radiologist and academic coordinator at the radiology department of Apollo hospital, they recently conducted a study involving 120 patients that showed people living in Delhi-NCR were twice as likely to have structural changes in lungs that could lead to respiratory problems compared to those from other states like Bihar, Odisha and Bengal.
Patients, who didn’t have any history of smoking or pre-existing lung illness, were visiting hospital for medical reasons.
The radiology unit performed CT densitometry – a software-based test that allows detection of fine changes in the lungs at an early stage when it is not visible to human eyes during routine CT scan interpretation. “We found that 63% of the patients from Delhi-NCR had damaged lung structure compared to 38% in the patients from other states,” Dr Ghonge said. The findings herald an ongoing silent harm to the lungs of Delhi-NCR people due to air pollution, he added. “In absence of adequate measures to improve air quality, these findings may gradually manifest on routine CT images and may even cause respiratory symptoms.”



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