Professor Chalmers claimed that the data showed that the impact of air pollution was worst in the summer months, where hotter and less windy days raised the levels of air pollution.
It is also when people are outside more and are being exposed to pollution, the researchers suggested, and a time when doctor visits were more frequent.
Professor Chalmers added: “Our datasuggests that a failure to tackle air pollution is having a major impact on the health of people with lung conditions and potentially the wider Tayside population. The patients we looked at, who all suffer from lung conditions, are to my mind the canary in the coalmine on this issue – they are the first and most seriously affected by air pollution but it can affect us all.”
Ian Jarrold, Head of Research at the British Lung Foundation, said that the research showed that the additional costs faced by the NHS due to exposure to air pollution ‘can no longer be ignored’.