This month, our work with the renowned Johns Hopkins University continues, as our latest clinical trial is published. Over the years we have been involved in a number of clinical trials with the university. This time, the study aims to show how using an Austin Air Purifier can help people suffering with COPD.
What is COPD?
COPD is an inflammatory respiratory disease that causes reduced air flow in the lungs. Many people with COPD experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a persistent cough and wheezing. There is no cure for COPD and although it may start gradually, over time, symptoms will inevitably worsen.
Who’s at risk?
The leading cause of COPD is smoking, accounting for around 80% of COPD deaths. Even secondhand smoke can increase a person’s chances of developing the disease. Other risk factors include long term exposure to air pollution and chemical fumes, perhaps from a workplace. Asthmatics are also at increased risk. And for a small percentage of people, genetics can play a part in the onset of the disease.
Good indoor air quality is vital for people with COPD
People with COPD generally spend most of their time indoors, as the disease limits their mobility and capacity to carry out day to day activities. This means the quality of their indoor air is particularly important.
First of its kind trial to measure COPD symptoms
Previous trials with the university have set out to measure how our units help to reduce pollution levels in the homes of people with COPD. But this is the first trial to use air purifiers to improve COPD symptoms.
For the purposes of the trial, 116 ex-smokers with moderate to severe COPD were followed for six months. One group was allocated two Austin HealthMate Air Purifiers, the other group were given sham units. The sham units, looked and sounded just like the active air purifiers but the filters had been removed. Participants were asked to place one unit in the bedroom and one in the room where they spent most of their time during the day. Over a six-month period both groups were asked to complete a questionnaire, describing symptoms and use of medication.
Results show that indoor air quality and COPD symptoms improved dramatically when running an Austin
After one week, indoor air quality was measured. In the homes where active air purifiers were running, pollution levels had dropped dramatically and continued to remain low for the duration of the study. At six months, use of COPD medication, COPD symptoms and exacerbation risk (flareups) were assessed. It was clear that there were significant signs of improvement for the group using Austin Air Purifiers, particularly for those people who spent a lot of time indoors. According to the Johns Hopkins team,
‘This is the first environmental intervention study conducted among former smokers with COPD showing potential health benefits of portable HEPA air cleaners, particularly among those with greater adherence and spending a greater time indoors.’
Austin Air helps people with COPD
According to the CDC, COPD affects around 16 million Americans, with many more millions undiagnosed and untreated. This latest study shows that while there is no cure for COPD, installing an Austin Air Purifier can help to reduce COPD symptoms, lower the risk of flareups and improve quality of life.