A new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that traffic-related air pollution may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.
German researchers analyzed data from 1,775 women living in both rural and highly-polluted industrial areas for nearly 20 years. Air pollution data from monitoring stations and emission inventories run by local environmental agencies were used to estimate each woman’s average exposure levels.
They found that exposure to components of traffic pollution, particularly nitrogen dioxide and soot in ambient fine particulate matter was significantly associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Lead researcher Wolfgang Rathmann says he believes the results would be similar for men as well. “We have no reason to assume sex differences in the association between air pollution and diabetes risk, but we do not have data on this issue.”
Diabetes affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, and close to 250 million people worldwide.
According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for developing diabetes include family history, being overweight, leading an inactive lifestyle, and high blood pressure.
Exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet are among the best ways to prevent diabetes and control blood sugar levels naturally.
By Mark Vavoulis