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.
'This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. "Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened", Aly explained. In the United States, the number of diabetics exceeds 30 million, and in the world - 420 million people. A new report warned that outdoor air pollution may be a significant contributor to diabetes cases around the world. "We wanted to thread together the pieces for a broader, more solid understanding".
In this study, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis gathered data on 1.7 million U.S. veterans with no history of diabetes who had been followed for a median of 8½ years.
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Approximately 21% of people living in environments where there were 5-10 micrograms per cubic meter of air pollution developed type 2 diabetes. Exposure to levels between 11.9 and 13.6 micrograms raised diabetes risk to about 24 percent, which amounts to an additional 5,000 to 6,000 cases of diabetes per 100,000 people each year. The data helped to estimate annual cases of diabetes and healthy years of life lost due to pollution.
Air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, according to a USA study, which found even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease. Wealthier countries such as France, Finland and Iceland faced a low risk.
Recently, Chinese doctors made a decision to evaluate both the prevalence of diabetes affects the life expectancy of the Chinese, and came to the conclusion that the acquisition of this disease shortens a typical life span of nine years, and their American colleagues found that diabetes is associated with approximately 12% of deaths in the United States. The US is at a moderate risk level for pollution-related diabetes. One of its recommendations was to define and quantify the relationship between pollution and diabetes. They also estimated another 8.2 million years of life were lost in 2016 because of pollution. "I believe their research will have a significant global impact".
This article has been republished from materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Reference Bowe B, Xie Y, Li T, Yan Y, Xian H, Al-Aly Z. The 2016 Global and National Burden of Diabetes Mellitus Attributable to PM2·5 Air Pollution.