Air pollution from traffic linked to diabetes in children
Several studies have already linked the likelihood of death by respiratory and circulatory illness to the level of fine dust particles in the air.
Fine dust pollution leads to earlier instances of type 1 diabetes in small children, according to a study by the Institute for Diabetes Research at the Helmholtz Centre in Munich. Environmental factors, the researchers found, also have an effect on the development of the illness.
“Our results indicate that exposure to traffic-related pollutants accelerates the development of type 1 diabetes,” the authors of the study, Andreas Beyerlein, Miriam Krasmann and their colleagues indicated. But their data suggests this result only applies to very young children.
The researchers analysed data from 671 young patients with type 1 diabetes, recorded between April 2009 and May 2013 in the Bavarian diabetes register DiMelli (Diabetes Incidence Cohort Registry).
The focus of the analysis was to compare the time of diagnosis in small children with contact to certain air pollutants around their homes. Blood samples from patients were also tested for various inflammatory markers at the time of diagnosis.
During the analysis, the researchers also took other factors into consideration, such as the history of diabetes in a child’s family, the education level of parents and a child’s body mass index.
Air pollution from exhaust emissions increase risk in urban areas
The researchers found that small children from residential environments with high levels of ambient air pollution developed type 1 diabetes three years earlier on average than children in the same age group from areas with low levels of pollution.
The correlation was found for concentrations of fine dust particles with an aerodynamic diameter of