Air pollution is a major diabetes risk factor

Air pollution is a major diabetes risk factor

Air pollution is a major diabetes risk factor, according to a new study from the German Center for Diabetes Research.

Back in June, we reported that air pollution is a major risk factor for stroke. According to the study published in The Lancet Neurology, environmental and household air pollution is a leading risk factor for stroke globally, and is associated with about a third of the worldwide burden.

The new study shows a potential link between air pollution and diabetes.

Whether the disease becomes manifest and when this occurs is not only due to lifestyle or genetic factors, but also due to traffic-related air pollution,” said Professor Annette Peters, director of the Institute of Epidemiology II at Helmholtz Zentrum München and head of the research area of epidemiology of the DZD.

The study abstract provided the following details:

We investigated the association between modelled long-term exposure to air pollution at residence and biomarkers related to IR, subclinical inflammation and adipokines.

Data was based on 2,944 participants of the KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region Augsburg) F4 study conducted in southern Germany (2006-2008). We analysed associations between individual air pollution concentration estimated by land use regression and HOMA-IR, glucose, insulin, HbA1c, leptin, and hs-CRP from fasting samples using multivariable linear regression models. Effect estimates were calculated for the whole study population and subgroups of non-diabetic, pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals.

Among all participants, a 7.9μg/m3 increment in particulate matter <10μm was associated with higher HOMA-IR (15.6% [95%-CI: 4.0;28.6]) and insulin (14.5% [3.6;26.5]).

Nitrogen dioxide was associated with HOMA-IR, glucose, insulin, and leptin. Effect estimates for pre-diabetic individuals were much larger and highly statistically significant, while non-diabetic and diabetic individuals showed rather weak associations. No association was seen for HbA1c.

Lowering the threshold for acceptable air pollution levels would be a prudent step,” said Dr. Alexandra Schneider, who was also involved in the study. “We are all exposed to air pollution. An individual reduction by moving away from highly polluted areas is rarely an option.”

The study showing that air pollution is a major diabetes risk factor was published in the journal Diabetes.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “The Lancet Neurology: For the First Time, Air Pollution Emerges as a Leading Risk Factor for Stroke Worldwide.” EurekAlert! The Lancet, n.d. Web. 10 Sep. 2016.
2. “Global Burden of Stroke and Risk Factors in 188 Countries, during 1990–2013: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.” The Lancet Neurology. The Lancet, n.d. Web. 10 Sep. 2016.
3. “Risk Factor Air Pollution.” Helmholtz Zentrum München. Helmholtz Zentrum München, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.
4. “Association Between Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution and Biomarkers Related to Insulin Resistance, Subclinical Inflammation and Adipokines.” Diabetes. American Diabetes Association, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.

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