Connection of air pollution, even when it moves to levels considered safe, with an increased risk for diabetes worldwide, states new American scientific research. The study estimates that reducing pollutants in the air, especially in countries with a serious problem like India, will lead to a reduction in type 2 diabetes.
More than 420 million people are estimated to suffer from diabetes, which is one of the fastest growing diseases worldwide. Risk factors, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, according to new research, should be added to air pollution.
The researchers, led by the assistant professor of medicine, Zijand Al-Ali, of the University of Washington at St. Louis, who published in the medical journal “The Lancet Planetary Health,” analyzed data for about 1.7 million people without a history of diabetes, in depth 8.5 years, correlating the level of pollution they were exposed to, with the possibility of developing diabetes along the way.
It was found that even with 2.4 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air slightly increased the risk of diabetes. According to the data, at a pollution level of five to ten micrograms per cubic meter of air, about one in five people (21%) experienced diabetes. When exposure to pollution was increased to 12 to 14 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the percentage of people who developed diabetes increased to 24%.
Scientists, estimate pollution to have contributed internationally to about 3.2 million new cases of diabetes in 2016 (14% of all incidents worldwide this year). They also estimated that 8.2 million years of healthy life were lost in 2016 due to diabetes-related pollution.
“Our study shows an important relationship between atmospheric pollution and diabetes. We found an increased risk even at low levels of air pollution, which are considered safe by the World Health Organization. This is important because many industrial lobbies claim that current levels of pollution are too strict and have to relax. Our data, on the contrary, show that current levels are not sufficiently safe and need to be even more stringent, “said Al-‘Ali.
Scientists believe that tiny particles of pollution enter the body and lead to reduced insulin production, as well as chronic inflammation, thus preventing the body from converting blood glucose (sugar) into energy.