Smog Bad for Your Appendix: Study

Researchers saw more cases of appendicitis on days with poor air quality
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 3:38 PM CDT
China's National Stadium and National Aquatics Center, left, are seen through pollution in Beijing, July 24, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pollution may boost your chances of getting appendicitis, the BBC reports. A Canadian study suggests that human tissue—such as the appendix—gets more inflamed on days when the ozone level is high; patients were 15% more likely to be hospitalized on bad-air days, researchers found. Infections can cause appendicitis—when the appendix gets inflamed and fills with pus—but sometimes there's no explanation.

Other pollutants also affect hospitalization rates, but not as much. Past studies have shown a link between air pollution and inflammation, and this moves researchers a step closer to figuring it out. “If the relationship between air pollution and appendicitis is confirmed, then improving air quality may prevent the occurrence of appendicitis in some individuals,” one said.