Air Pollution and Nutrition

Document Type : Letter to the Editor


1 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Health Management Research Institute, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Air pollution is the fourth leading cause of premature death after hypertension, smoking and malnutrition and is the second leading cause of death from non-communicable diseases after smoking (1-3).
Increased air pollution can increase the vulnerability of the respiratory system, and poor air quality is a serious risk for acute and chronic respiratory diseases and cardiovascular disease. Also Exposure to air pollution causes underlying diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and as a result these underlying diseases increase the vulnerability to Coronavirus disease 2019 (4).
People with the underlying disease and living in contaminated areas are at higher risk for coronary heart disease, and studies show that air pollution is a contributing factor to diseases such as the flu and covid-19. Airborne particles increase Coronavirus disease 2019 mortality by up to 6%, ozone up to 7% and nitrogen dioxide up to 15%. When different dust particles increase in the air and the virus spreads in the air; For example, The virus has more chance to spread to other people when talking, coughing and sneezing(5).


Main Subjects

  1. Whyand T, Hurst JR, Beckles M, Caplin ME. Pollution and respiratory disease: can diet or supplements help? A review Respir Res. 2018;1(19):79.
  2. Marzban A, Khabiri F, Anbari Nogyni Z. Nutrition during COVID-19. Journal of Nutrition and Food Security. 2021;6(2):98-100.
  3. Marzban A, Sadeghi-Nodoushan F. Nutrition in Disasters. Journal of Nutrition and Food Security. 2024;9(1):7-9.
  4. Wang M, Zhou T, Song Q, Ma H, Hu Y, Heianza Y, et al. Ambient air pollution, healthy diet and vegetable intakes, and mortality: a prospective UK Biobank study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2022;51(4):1243-53.
  5. Melisa Kurtz, Christian Lezon, Patricia Boyer, Deborah Tasat. Malnutrition and Air Pollution in Latin America: Impact of Two Stressors on Children’s Health. Combating Malnutrition Through Sustainable Approaches. 2022.
  6. Tiffon C. The impact of nutrition and environmental epigenetics on human health and disease. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2018;19:3425.
  7. Miller CN, Rayalam S. The role of micronutrients in the response to ambient air pollutants: Potential mechanisms and suggestions for research design. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B Critical Review. 2017;20:38-53.