Doctors have often puzzled why it is that the appendix suddenly enlarges and sometimes bursts - but researchers think they may finally have the answer.
They reckon the appendix can be affected by air pollution, and especially when ozone levels are at their highest, which is usually in the summer months.
Researchers from the University of Calgary made the connection when they studied hospital records between 1999 and 2006. During that time, around 45,000 adults were admitted for appendicitis, and the researchers discovered that the risk increased 15 per cent on days when ozone levels were high.
Their findings, which have been presented to an American College of Gastroenterology conference, tie in with previous studies that suggested a link between air pollution and inflammatory diseases.
(Source: BBC, October 8, 2008).