Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Traffic Trouble: Study Links Diabetes to Vehicular Pollution

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Traffic Trouble: Study Links Diabetes to Vehicular Pollution

Article excerpt

There is a well-documented relationship between exposure to particulate matter (PM) in ambient air pollution and risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Subclinical or low-grade inflammation, believed to serve as an intermediary between air pollution and cardiovascular/metabolic health risks, is associated with impaired glucose metabolism, but few studies to date have examined the relationship between air pollution and diabetes. For the first time, a prospective study provides evidence linking exposure to traffic-related air pollution with an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women [EHP 118(9):1273-1279; Kramer et al.].

In the current study, researchers investigated the relationship between air pollution exposure and new-onset incident type 2 diabetes using information from the prospective Study on the Influence of Air Pollution on Lung, Inflammation, and Aging (SALIA). The authors also assessed whether baseline inflammation was associated with pollution exposure.

The SALIA cohort is composed of 1,775 women aged 54-55 years without diabetes at enrollment. The women lived in the highly industrialized Ruhr district of Germany or in rural, nonindustrial towns nearby. Using data obtained from cross-sectional surveys administered in 1985-1994 and a follow-up interview in 2006, the investigators analyzed the incidence of type 2 diabetes over 1990-2006. They also collected information on symptoms and diagnoses of respiratory disease, home and occupational exposure to air pollution, smoking status, and socioeconomic status. …

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