Study, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Exposure to air pollution, even over the course of just a few weeks, can impede mental performance; however, these adverse effects were lessened in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The study is published in the journal Nature Aging and it is among the first to explore short-term air pollution exposures and the use of NSAIDs to mitigate their effects.

Examples of events that would increase someone’s exposure to air pollution over the short term could include forest fires, smog, second-hand cigarette smoke, charcoal grills, and gridlock traffic.

The researchers examined the relationship between exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon, a component of PM, and cognitive performance in 954 older white males from the Greater Boston Area enrolled in the Normative Aging Study.

They also explored whether taking NSAIDs could modify their relationships. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Global Cognitive Function (GCF) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scales. Air pollution levels were obtained from a site in Boston.

Elevated average PM2.5 exposure over 28 days was associated with declines in GCF and MMSE scores. Men who took NSAIDs

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