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Beware, Air Pollution Can Cause Diabetes!

Type 2 diabetes usually occurs because of a person’s diet or lifestyle. However, there are recent findings which reveal that air pollution can cause diabetes. Is that right? Find the answer in this article!

Beware, Air Pollution Can Cause Diabetes!

Research on Air Pollution and Diabetes

A joint study conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine and the St. Louis Veterans Health Care System. Louis found the fact that there is a strong relationship between pollution and diabetes. The results of the study were published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

In that study, researchers analyzed the impact of air pollution on a group of veterans from the United States who had no previous history of diabetes. The study followed participants for an average of 8.5 years.

There are several parameters in this study, such as sodium concentration in the ambient air and lower extremity fractures. Based on this analysis, globally air pollution can contribute to around 3.2 million cases of diabetes.

In addition, recent research in China also found the fact that long-term exposure to air pollution can increase the risk of diabetes. Please note, China has the highest number of diabetes cases in the world.

Also Read: Is it true that certain chemicals in cosmetics can cause diabetes?

How Can Pollution Cause Diabetes?

Pollutants that are inhaled and enter the bloodstream can interact with tissues and organs. These interactions can interfere with the body, including changing insulin sensitivity and production.

Besides being able to enter the lungs, something less than 10 mm in size such as pollution particles can also enter the bloodstream. Particles that manage to enter and circulate in the body can cause inflammation in the cells and organs of the body.

If the inflammation that occurs reaches the pancreas, the organ that produces the hormone insulin in the body is disrupted. Finally, blood sugar levels will soar high and difficult to control due to the body’s lack of the hormone insulin.

This condition can then trigger a person to develop diabetes. Therefore, pollution can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: Link Between Lack of Sleep and Increased Risk of Diabetes

The risk of diabetes due to air pollution generally occurs more in low-income countries that do not have clean air policies, such as India, China and Indonesia. Meanwhile, rich countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia have a lower risk.

Still citing the same research, type 2 diabetes can be caused by the effects of bad air pollution. Therefore, apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you also need to protect yourself from exposure to air pollution to prevent the risk of developing diabetes.

There are several ways you can do this, namely using a mask when going out or when you are in a place that produces a lot of air pollution, eating a complete and balanced nutritious diet, keeping the environment clean, and taking supplements if needed.

  1. Anonymous. 2019. Long-term Exposure to Air Pollution Increases Risk of Diabetes. (Accessed 2 February).
  2. Rao, Xiao Quan. 2015. Air Pollution as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes. (Accessed 2 February).
  3. Townley, Chiara. 2018. Strong Link Found Between Air Pollution and Diabetes. (Accessed 2 February).

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