Everyone hates smoggy days. You go outside, and the air smells funny. There’s an odd, discolored haze in the air, as well. It’s called smog, and while it’s not healthy for your senses, it turns out that it’s also pretty dangerous for people, too. The University of Calgary published a report that found that as smog increases, the risk of suffering from a burst appendix also increases.
Not only is this crazy, but it’s also pretty frightening to many people that live in areas at risk for high amounts of smog.
The study had researchers finding and identifying more than 35,000 appendicitis cases, and the findings were astounding: on days where ozone levels tended to be a little bit high, but still in the “good” range for air quality, there also tended to be an estimated 22 percent rise in the number of cases of a burst appendix.
While there are other risks, such as allergies and breathing problems, that often go along with smoggy days far more often than appendicitis, the correlation between the amount of murk in the air and the chance to burst an appendix should not be discounted.
In animal studies, researchers have found that the pollution we breathe in may actually alter the microbes in the gut and may cause the intestines to become inflamed. It may also be a contributing factor when it comes to appendicitis.
Even though the findings from the animal studies haven’t been seen in humans, the study coauthor Gil Kaplan, M.D. has said that it is possible to track the increase in the cases of appendicitis with higher amounts of air pollution. He says that Appendicitis is considered to be a modern disease, and it actually came to light after the Industrial Revolution. This fact alone suggests that pollution is a likely cause of appendicitis in many people.
While it might seem like a moot point, it’s just another something that keeps reminding us of how valuable clean air actually is to overall health. Pollution has been linked to cancer, stroke and even heart disease, so if you begin to feel a dull or sharp pain near the lower right abdominal area, vomiting and tenderness, you should see your health care provider.