3.2 Million Diabetes Cases in 2016 Linked to Air Pollution: Lancet
It’s alarming that air pollution, even at safe and permissible levels, contributed to 14% of the total diabetes cases globally.
Earlier, in May 2018, a World Health Organization report had confirmed that India was one of the most polluted countries in the world. Using PM 2.5 levels as an index, the report had stated that 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world were in India.
For the study, the researchers analysed data from 1.7 million US veterans, who were monitored for 8.5 years and had no previous history of diabetes. After running a series of mathematical models and controlling the other medical factors of diabetes, the researchers studied their diabetes levels and the pollution levels.
The researchers found that more exposure to air pollution increased the risk of diabetes in the veterans.
Speaking to CNN, Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, a senior author of the study and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University, said:
There’s an undeniable relationship between diabetes and and particle air pollution levels well below the current safe standards. 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.Dr Ziyad Al-Aly
Particulate matter, or PM, is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. These are classified according to their diameter. Particles less than 2.5 µm (micrometres) are called PM 2.5. They are approximately 1/30th the average width of a human hair.
PM 2.5 includes particles that are small enough to be inhaled and penetrate the thoracic region of the respiratory system.
The health effects of inhalable PM are well documented, caused by exposure over both the short-term (hours, days) and long-term (months, years). They include respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity such as aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms, and an increase in hospital admissions; and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.
(With media inputs.)
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