Research shows air pollution possibly linked to diabetes

by Sandra Haros/KTAR (October 6th, 2010)

PHOENIX – New research shows a possible link between diabetes and air pollution.

“We have one more thing to be concerned about if you’re at higher risk for diabetes,” says Wayne Tormala with the Arizona Department of Health.

“All diseases increase under bad air. We know that cardiovascular disease and we know that lung diseases and asthma. Findings that diabetes prevalence increases with bad air are new.”

Research out of Children’s Hospital Boston shows people living in areas where air quality levels were near, but still below the acceptable EPA safety limits had more than 20 percent higher diabetes prevalence than those exposed to fewer air pollutants.

That includes exposure to car exhaust, industrial smoke and other types of fine particulate air pollution.

“There were some theories that breathing high level of particulates in the air creates an inflammatory response and that that in fact can affect your insulin levels and blood levels.”

“Certainly if you live in a highly urbanized area or where there are a lot of particulates in the air, then that should be a reminder to you that you really need to get those annual screenings, get your blood tested, you know – catch things early.”

View story here

Researchers say the study doesn’t prove one causes the other, but it is the first large scale national study to explore a possible link.

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