Start date: 2021
End date: ongoing
Funding: Faculty of Medicine, University of Augsburg
Project responsibility on site: Christian Voll, Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is currently the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. (WHO 2019; Berry 2010) An increasing prevalence can be observed, especially in industrialized nations with high life expectancy. The disease is characterized by progressive, usually irreversible narrowing of the small airways, steadily further restriction of airflow, and chronic inflammation of the lungs. Typical symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and sputum. (Arastéh et al. 2018) In the medium to long term, destruction of the lung tissue (a so-called pulmonary emphysema) occurs.
A particular risk factor is smoking (active and passive), for which there is a causal relationship with the risk of developing COPD. (Arastéh et al. 2018) Furthermore, socioeconomic factors such as deprivation, migration background, and household size were found to be significant risk factors for COPD. (Kauhl et al. 2018) In addition, exposure to dusts and other air pollutants in the environment also plays a significant role. (DeVries et al. 2017) Genetic causes may also contribute to the development of COPD. (Foreman, 2017; Ghosh et al. 2022)
The severity of COPD has been graded from A-D according to GOLD since 2011, with grades C and D having an increased risk of worsening (exacerbation risk) than grades A and B, and the risk of mortality increasing with the rate of exacerbations (Suissa 2012).
The goal of the URBAN-COPD project is to improve the understanding of the influence of urban environmental factors climate, air pollutants, and land use on the genesis and progression of COPD lung disease. For this purpose, an integrated approach of the holistic consideration of different environmental factors from land use, climate and air and their influences on the disease COPD is pursued. For this purpose, the influence of the factor "place of residence" of patients with COPD in the urban area of Augsburg on the underlying environmental factors is investigated and analyzed with statistical methods. The data basis is formed by the patient data of the Augsburg University Hospital over the period from 2015 to 2021. Environmental data are acquired in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Prof. Dr. Martin Schwaiblmair (Augsburg University Hospital, Stenglinstr. 2, 86156 Augsburg)
PD Dr. Thomas Berghaus (Augsburg University Hospital, Stenglinstr. 2, 86156 Augsburg)
Dr. Christian Faul (Augsburg University Hospital, Stenglinstr. 2, 86156 Augsburg)
PD Dr. Hannes Taubenböck (German Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center, Geo Risks and Civil Security Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Weßling)
Dr. Tobias Leichtle (German Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center, Georisks and Civil Security Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Weßling)