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Penn State College of Medicine professor finds connections between air pollution, health

A Penn State College of Medicine researcher seeks to understand how the quality of the air someone breathes may affect their health. For years, Jeff Yanosky, MS, ScD, an associate professor of public health sciences, has analyzed how the amount of particulate matter in the air may relate to health issues like asthma, cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema. He has also been involved in research that suggests connections between air pollution and pregnancy outcomes, such as low birth weight.

He uses data to examine defined populations and estimate their air pollution exposure levels over a defined time period. These analyses can be done retrospectively, learning how past exposures have affected people’s health, or prospectively, estimating current and future health burdens and trends according to existing data.

“I think many people understand that routine tobacco smoking can have adverse health effects,” said Yanosky, who is also a member of Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment. “I don’t think most people appreciate that the quality of the air they breathe is also affecting their health — not to the same extent, but it is still a factor.”

Read more about Yanosky’s work in this Penn State News story.

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