Canadian researchers say they’ve found a connection between high levels of air pollution, particularly ozone, and appendicitis, reports the BBC.
Appendicitis is a common but potentially fatal ailment in which the appendix — a small structure with no clear function, although it may play some role in digestion and fighting off infection — becomes inflamed, and can burst, unless surgically removed.
The new research suggests a reduction of smog could be a preventative factor.
The Calgary-based research team presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Florida.
According to principal researcher Dr. Gilaad Kaplan, “If the relationship between air pollution and appendicitis is confirmed, then improving air quality may prevent the occurrence of appendicitis in some individuals.”
“Pollution linked to appendicitis”
BBC, October 6, 2008