Long-term air pollution exposure and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity: a cohort study


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on health, and placed huge demands on primary and secondary NHS care. In this study, we will investigate the relationship between air pollution exposure and the risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease in the UK.

We will use data from COVIDENCE UK, which has been tracking the health of around 20,000 adult volunteers in the UK since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVIDENCE provides information on potential symptoms of COVID-19 experienced since 1st February 2020 and the results of any COVID-19 tests from the participants. We will then estimate the annual average and daily concentrations of air pollution at the home address of each participant by using a high-resolution air pollution map. This study will help to predict and then reduce the risk of COVID-19 in locations with poor air quality. Results will help public health planning in the UK and internationally to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection.

Partners & Collaborators

Environmental Research Group, Imperial College London

Usher institute, University of Edinburgh

Lead Investigator
Investigating Team
Professor Adrian Martineau (Wolfson Institute of Population Health, QMUL)
Professor Seif Shaheen (Wolfson Institute of Population Health, QMUL)
Dr Ian Mudway (Environmental Research Group, Imperial)
Dr Daniela Fecht (Environmental Research Group, Imperial)
Professor Aziz Sheikh (Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh)
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