July 2018 - Air pollution plays significant role in diabetes - News - SHOWCASE

July 2018 - Air pollution plays significant role in diabetes - News - SHOWCASE

The study said that air pollution alone contributed to 3.2 million new cases of diabetes in 2016.

Air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, according to a U.S. study, which found even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease. The research proves that regulatory authorities need to be taking even lower pollution threats seriously and working to provide a better solution.Ziyad Al-Aly, senior author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Washington University said, "Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally".

Finally, they analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease study - conducted annually with contributions from researchers worldwide - to estimate annual cases of diabetes and healthy years of life lost due to pollution.

Dr Al-Aly said: 'Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally. According to researchers, air pollution reduces insulin production in the body and triggers inflammation which prevents the body from converting glucose into energy needed for sustenance and activity.

A research of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis links outdoor air pollution, even at levels deemed safe, to an increased risk of diabetes globally. This is important because many economic lobbies argue that current levels [of permitted releases of pollutants into the atmosphere] are too strict and should be increased.

The research study from the Washington University and School of Medicine in St. Louis collected data with no trace of diabetes on 1.7 million USA veterans, those who had been followed for an average of 8 and a half years.


Outdoor air pollution has been found to increase the risk of developing diabetes worldwide. At exposures of between 11.9 to 13.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air, roughly 24% developed diabetes.

More than 420 million people are affected worldwide due to this deadly disease which is caused mainly by an unhealthy diet, having a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity.

"We found an increased risk, even at low levels of air pollution now considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO)". However, the findings from the Washington University researchers could clue in medical professionals to new reasons behind a rising number of diabetes cases.

"Our study shows an important relationship between atmospheric pollution and diabetes".

The findings are published June 29 in The Lancet Planetary Health.

The team estimates that air pollution contributed to 3.2 million new cases of diabetes throughout the world in 2016 - about 14% of all cases that year. Wealthier countries (such as France, Finland, and Iceland) faced a low risk, and the United States faced a moderate risk. Particles that are smaller than 10 micrometers can enter the lungs and also pass into the bloodstream, travel to various organs, and produce an inflammatory reaction that can lead to chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. Note: material may have been edited for length and content.

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