Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Air pollution linked to 3.2 million diabetes cases in a year

Air pollution linked to 3.2 million diabetes cases in a year

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that close to 90% of people globally were exposed to severely polluted air, and about seven million died around the world due to reasons attributed to air pollution.

"This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened".

To evaluate outdoor air pollution, the researchers looked at particulate matter, airborne microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets. Anything that is less than 10 micrometers as stated by the study can get straight into the lungs through the wind pipe or the oesophagus and pass into the bloodstream from where it could be carried to different organs and begin deadly diseases and chronic inflammatory reactions at the same time.

Al-Aly noted the importance of the study, stressing that although previous research had suggested a possible link between diabetes and pollution, none of those were thorough or conclusive. An unhealthy diet, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are all major diabetes risks.

Researchers working with scientists at the Veterans Affairs' Clinical Epidemiology Center, examined data from 1.7 million USA veterans who did not have histories of diabetes and were followed for a median of 8.5 years.

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In the United States, air pollution is linked with 150,000 new cases of diabetes a year and 350,000 years of healthy life lost each year, according to the report.

Ziyad Al-Aly, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University, served as the study's senior author.

According to experts, Russia's 3.7 million people have diabetes. Scientists conducted an experiment and found that the higher the air pollution in the city, the more risks of getting diabetes. Lastly, they analyzed data from the annual Global Burden of Disease study, which helped estimate the yearly cases of diabetes and healthy years of life lost due to pollution. In diabetes, pollution is thought to reduce insulin production and trigger inflammation, preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health.

Over 3 million people in Britain were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Wealthier countries such as France, Finland and Iceland faced a low risk. "I think you can very directly link relaxation of air pollution control standards with increased sickness and death".

Recently, Chinese doctors chose to evaluate both the prevalence of diabetes affects the life expectancy of the Chinese, and came to the conclusion that the acquisition of this disease shortens a typical life span of nine years, and their American colleagues found that diabetes is associated with approximately 12% of deaths in the United States.

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