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Air pollution could be tied to appendicitis

In most cases, appendicitis is caused by a blockage, including a stool, foreign body or in some incidents, cancer, of the appendix, according to WebMD. Blockages can also be cause by infection. While these issues are well known, a new study indicates that air pollution could also be to blame for the common condition.

Scientists from the University of Calgary published their recent findings in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. During trials, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 35,000 patients who were hospitalized for appendicitis in one of 12 Canadian cities between 2004 and 2008. Scientists compared the medical records to air pollution data from each city to calculate how much pollution each person was exposed to near the time of their medical emergency. 

From the data, it was discovered that the number of people who had appendicitis increased when ozone levels were higher than normal. In fact, for each 16 parts per billion increase in air pollution, the number of ruptured appendix cases increased by between 11 and 22 percent. 

Even though there is no way to prevent appendicitis, families can limit air pollution exposure at home by investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas

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