Can individual protective measures safeguard cardiopulmonary health from air pollution? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Surabhi Shah, Eunji Kim, Kyoung Nam Kim, Eunhee Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Evidence supporting the effect of individual protective measures (IPMs) on air pollution is relatively scarce. In this study, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the effects of air purifiers, air-purifying respirators, and cookstove changes on cardiopulmonary health outcomes. We searched PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science until December 31, 2022, 90 articles and 39,760 participants were included. Two authors independently searched and selected the studies, extracted information, and assessed each study's quality and risk of bias. We performed meta-analyses when three or more studies were available for each IPMs, with comparable intervention and health outcome. Systematic review showed that IPMs were beneficial in children and elderly with asthma along with healthy individuals. Meta-analysis results showed a reduction in cardiopulmonary inflammation using air purifiers than in control groups (with sham/no filter) with a decrease in interleukin 6 by −0.247 μg/mL (95% confidence intervals [CI] = −0.413, −0.082). A sub-group analysis for air purifier as an IPMs in developing counties reduced fractional exhaled nitric oxide by −0.208 ppb (95% confidence intervals [CI] = −0.394, −0.022). However, evidence describing the effects of air purifying respirator and cook stove changes on cardiopulmonary outcomes remained insufficient. Therefore, air purifiers can serve as efficient IPMs against air pollution. The beneficial effect of air purifiers is likely to have a greater effect in developing countries than in developed countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115708
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2023

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  • Air pollution
  • Air purifier
  • Air-purifying respirator
  • Cardiopulmonary health


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