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The epidemiology of airways responsiveness is relevant to air pollution studies. Increased levels of airways responsiveness may identify individuals uniquely susceptible to air pollution. There are a variety of methodologic issues relevant to the use of airways responsiveness testing in populations including the appropriate measure of responsiveness to use and subjects excluded from testing. Increased responsiveness seems to be related to the extremes of age, cigarette smoking in older subjects, and level of pulmonary function. Airways responsiveness seems to be similar in males and females. To date, there are no larger population based studies relating airways responsiveness to ambient air pollution levels.
airways responsiveness, epidemiology, air pollution
Associate professor of medicine, Channing LaboratoryBeth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA