According to a study by St. Louis Health Care's Washington University School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs (VA), new research combines pollution of the air with outdoor air pollution ̵
The findings suggest that reducing pollution in heavily polluted countries such as India and less polluted countries such as the US may lead to a decline in diabetes cases.
Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases, affecting more than 420 million people worldwide and 30 million Americans. The main causes of diabetes are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and obesity, but the new study shows the extent to which outdoor air pollution plays a role.
"Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes worldwide," Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, senior author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. "We have identified an increased risk, even with low levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as many industry lobby groups argue that the current level is too high and it should be relaxed and evidence shows that the current level is still not sufficiently safe and needs to be tightened. "
The findings will be published on June 29 The Lancet Planetary Health links air pollution and pollution Diabetes suggested researchers have not yet tried to quantify this burden. "Over the past two decades, there has been some research on diabetes and pollution," said Al-Aly. "We wanted to put the pieces together for a broader, more solid understanding."
To assess outdoor air pollution, researchers studied particulate matter, airborne microscopic dust, dirt, smoke, soot, and liquid droplets. Previous studies have shown that such particles can enter the lungs and enter the bloodstream, contributing to serious illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, cancer and kidney disease. In diabetes, it is believed that pollution reduces insulin production and causes inflammation, so that the body does not convert blood sugar into energy that the body needs for its health.
Overall, the researchers estimated that pollution has contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases worldwide in 2016, representing approximately 14 percent of all new diabetes cases worldwide this year. They also estimated that in 2016, 8.2 million years of healthy living were lost through pollution-related diabetes, accounting for about 14 percent of all years of healthy life lost to diabetes for some reason. (The measure of how many years of healthy living are lost is often referred to as "disability-adjusted life years.")
In the United States, the study resulted in 150,000 new cases of diabetes per year of air pollution and 350,000 years (19659005) Washington University, in collaboration with scientists from the Veterans Affairs Clinical Epidemiology Center, investigated the association between particulate matter and the risk of diabetes by first analyzing data from 1.7 million persecuted US veterans for a median of 8.5 years. The veterans had no history of diabetes. Researchers combined this patient data with EPA's land-based air monitoring systems and space-based satellites operated by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). They used several statistical models and tested validity against controls, such as ambient non-diabetic sodium concentrations, and lower extremity fractures, which are not related to outdoor air pollution, as well as the risk of developing diabetes to contract a strong connection to air pollution. This exercise helped researchers eradicate false associations.
They then scoured all research related to diabetes and outdoor air pollution and developed a model to assess diabetes risk across different levels of pollution.
Finally, they analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease study, which is conducted annually with contributions from researchers worldwide. The data helped to estimate annual cases of diabetes and healthy life years due to environmental pollution.
The researchers also found that the overall risk of environmental diabetes is more focused on low-income countries such as India for environmental prevention and clean air policy. Countries at risk of being at higher risk of diabetes pollution include, for example, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Guyana, while richer countries such as France, Finland and Iceland have a lower risk. There is a moderate risk of environmental pollution from diabetes in the US.
In the US, the pollution threshold of the EPA is 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the highest air pollution that is considered safe under the Clean Air Regulation 1990 Law and updated in 2012. Using mathematical models, Al-Alys However, the team noted an increased risk of diabetes at 2.4 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Based on VA data, among a sample of veterans who were exposed to pollution at a level of 5 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air, about 21 percent developed diabetes. When this exposure increases to 11.9 to 13.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air, about 24 percent of the group develop diabetes. A 3 percent difference appears small, but it represents an increase of 5,000 to 6,000 new diabetes cases per 100,000 people in a given year.
In October 2017, the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health released a report on knowledge gaps harmful pollution health effects. One of his recommendations was to define and quantify the relationship between pollution and diabetes.
"The St. Louis team is doing important research to consolidate links between pollution and health conditions such as diabetes," said Commissioner Philip J. Landrigan, MD, a pediatrician and epidemiologist, is the dean of global health at Mount Sinai New York School of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine. "I believe their research will have a significant global impact."
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