Researchers said air pollution could be the reason two of Italy’s hardest-hit regions have drastically different COVID-19 mortality rates.
Environmental scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Siena in Italy looked at why the COVID-19 mortality rate in most of Italy was approximately 4.5%, while the northern part of the country suffered a 12% rate.
They concluded that there is a probable correlation between air pollution and mortality in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, two of the worst affected regions in northern Italy.
The two regions are among the most air polluted regions in Europe, possibly leading to health complications for residents that contracted the disease.
The researchers say air pollution is clearly not the only factor that has led to the high mortality rate. Factors such as the elevated medium age of the Italian population, wide differences among Italian regional health systems, ICU capacities and how infections and deaths were counted could all play a role in the region’s mortality rate.
You can read the study here.