November 23, 2011

Traffic pollution shown to increase risk of diabetes


Lindsey Konkel reported on a very interesting study published in the journal Diabetes Care. I have to say – Lindsay put 2 and 2 together in her assessment of this study and wrote a very intuitive article on the topic.

This is going to hurt. I love my car but the recent study shows that people who live in areas with high levels of traffic-related air pollution may face an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Danish researchers found that people living in urban areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant found in traffic exhaust, were 4% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than people living in neighborhoods with cleaner air.

For the first time, this study shows that the effects of air pollution could make healthy individuals more vulnerable to developing diabetes. People who were physically active showed to have a 10% increased risk of developing diabetes. Non-smokers had a 12% increased chance. No fair!

So here’s where Lindsay’s insight on the study screams eureka! Inflammation is no good in the pathology of diabetes. Cigarette smoke, air pollution, and plenty of other environmental factors can contribute to inflammation . Lindsay is a freelance science, health, environment journalist. I’m totally following her on Twitter.

I’m still trying to negotiate the healthier way to maintain my vehicular love while not contributing to the caustic effects of air pollution. Is a smart car a good solution? It’s like the size of a lawn chair and may contribute less to this air-pollution mess.

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