An important outcome from epidemiological studies has been the identification of groups who are more susceptible to air pollution than others
These include children, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease or heart disease.
The effects of air pollution on health vary between individuals and subgroups of the population. Air pollution is known to affect the elderly, children and those suffering from diabetes, chronic respiratory (COPD, bronchitis, asthma) and cardiovascular disease.
Accumulating chronic disease and ageing of body systems, such as the lungs, leads to the elderly having less capacity to deal with increases in air pollution that would not trouble younger people.
Statistics suggest that children exposed to long-term, high levels of air pollution whilst their lungs are developing exhibit particularly high morbidity and mortality. In children the developing lung may be more susceptible to long-term exposure to high levels of air pollution.