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Number of Patients With Respiratory Ailments Increased by 20-40% Between 2017 & 2019 : AIIMS Study

The study, which surveyed 56000 children and 70000 adults, specifically noted an increase in the rates of admission in the case of children and the elderly.

Sneha Mordani | CNN-News18

Updated:November 5, 2019, 10:49 AM IST
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Number of Patients With Respiratory Ailments Increased by 20-40% Between 2017 & 2019 : AIIMS Study
A boy is seen wearing a mask to get protection from air-pollution, in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)

As AQI levels-breached 999 across several regions in Delhi last week, alarm bells were raised over the effects that the putrid air has on the health of the city's residents, specifically children.

Schools remained closed and locals were forced to stay indoors or use masks because of the toxic smog. Although the link might be an obvious one, it had still not been proven by a government-sanctioned study.

This was until a recent survey conducted by AIIMS, and funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), between the period of June 2017 and May 2019 found that acute respiratory symptoms were increasing because of the depreciating quality of air.

The study, which surveyed 56000 children and 70000 adults had found that the number of patients visiting AIIMS with acute respiratory symptoms had increased. During the period of the survey, there was a 20-40 per cent increase in the proportion of patients who were in need of emergency care. This trend was most pronounced in the case of children. The study also noted that an increase in the rates of admission in elderly.

What was shocking is that the increase in attendance of patients was registered even when the PM 2.5 levels were recorded at levels between 50 and 100.

The study's findings should come as a firm warning to the city which saw air quality levels remain within the "very poor category", albeit a slight improvement from the previous day.

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