ARDS is a rapidly progressive disease that occurs in critically ill patients. The disease's most serious complication is that fluid leaks into the lungs making breathing difficult or impossible. ARDS develops in patients with predisposing conditions such as sepsis, pneumonia, traumatic injury, and aspiration. The elderly population is at particularly high risk of developing ARDS and the ARDS mortality rate for elderly patients has been reported to be around 69 percent to 80 percent.
Тhe study's senior author, stated that: "Our findings are unique in showing that the adverse health effects of air pollution on our senior citizens now include acute respiratory failure and that an increase in hospitalization for ARDS in seniors occurs at the current U.S. air pollution standards. These results add to the growing body of literature on various adverse health effects at current standards that demonstrate a need to lower our exposure limits."