The Surprising Link Between Air Pollution & Diabetes
Where you live may put you at risk.
Air pollution is not just bad for your lungs; it may increase your chances of having diabetes. According to a new study by Children’s Hospital in Boston, people who live in areas with the highest levels of pollution have a 20% greater chance of getting adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes.
“After adjusting for lifestyle factors like weight and education, air pollution remained associated with this type of diabetes,” says study co-author Dr. Allison Goldfine of Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center.
Over 23 million Americans have diabetes, and experts now believe that environmental factors may play a role. Air pollution might cause chronic low-grade inflammation, “and inflammation can make you more susceptible to the disease,” Dr. Goldfine says.
While more studies are under way, consider this healthy living twofer: “Walk and ride your bike as much as possible,” Dr. Goldfine urges. “You’ll reduce pollution and get the exercise you need to prevent diabetes.”
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