Diabetes related to pollution, says 11-year China study on 88,000 people

By on March 14, 2019

Long-term exposure to the major air pollutant PM2.5 increases the risk of diabetes, an international study conducted in China has found, linking pollution to a health risk rarely talked about.

The large-scale study conducted over a decade in China found that the risk of the disease increased by about 15.7 percent for an increase of 10 micrograms per cubic metre of long-term concentration of the pollutant, considered one of the worst.

“The adverse effects of PM2.5 were larger among young-to- middle-aged subjects, females, non-smokers and subjects with lower body mass index,” the study found.

China is said to have the largest number of patients suffering from diabetes in the world, a non-communicable disease which has rapidly spread in the country.

It also has a relatively higher concentration of PM2.5 concentration in the air despite improvement in air quality in cities like Beijing in the last few years.

“Diabetes causes substantial economic and health burdens worldwide. However, the association between air pollution and diabetes incidence is rarely reported in the developing countries, especially in China which has a relatively high PM2.5 concentration,” the official news agency, Xinhua said in a report on the link between pollution and diabetes.

“The study revealed that PM2.5 was an important risk factor for diabetes incidence in China and sustained improvement of air quality will help decrease the diabetes epidemic in China,” the Xinhua report said.

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