HomeBlogAir Pollution and Diabetes – What Is the Impact?

Air Pollution and Diabetes – What Is the Impact?

By now, we all know that air pollution has a tremendous impact on our health. But is there any connection between air pollution and diabetes? Can the air we breathe in increase the risk of developing this condition? Keep reading!

The association between diabetes type 2 and air pollution

For quite a long time now, we have known that long-term exposure to smog, polluted air and PM 2.5 or PM 10 can cause serious health conditions and diseases like circulatory problems, asthma, allergies, heart attacks, strokes or even cancer. However, recently it turned out that there is one more critical disease that may result from air pollution.

Although for many years we have associated type 2 diabetes with a bad diet, lack of physical activity and genetic predispositions, new studies show a direct link between diabetes type 2 and air pollution.

How does air pollution cause diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that takes place when the body isn’t able to produce as much insulin as needed. This results in high blood sugar levels and may lead to serious complications like strokes, heart diseases or kidney failures.

The study published in the Lancet Planetary Health clearly indicates that there is a strong link between diabetes type 2 and air pollution. During the study, scientists analysed the impact of air pollution on a group of veterans with no history of diabetes.

After 8.5 years, they came to the conclusion that, globally, air pollution and smog cause around 3.2 million cases of diabetes. It’s a horrendous number that shows that even considerably low levels of air pollution can have a dramatic impact on health.

Although the scientists haven’t determined the exact way air pollution causes diabetes, it’s proven that some of the pollutants we breathe in easily enter the bloodstream and damage our tissues. This, in turn, may have a negative impact on insulin production.

diabetes type 2 and air pollution

Smog and diabetes – the takeaway

Although the exact mechanism responsible for the development of diabetes type 2 in people who are exposed to polluted air hasn’t been determined yet, it’s known for sure that smog and harmful substances found in it are extremely dangerous for health. Therefore, it’s worth taking appropriate measures to become more eco-friendly and monitor the air quality.

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