Quantcast
Connect with us

Air pollution linked to higher risk of dementia: study

Published

on

Urban air pollution, mostly from vehicles, is associated with an increased risk of dementia, according to research published Wednesday.

The link remained even after heavy drinking, smoking and other well established risk factors for dementia were ruled out, the researchers reported in medical journal BMJ Open.

Worldwide, about seven percent of people over 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia, a percentage that rises to 40 percent above the age of 85.

The number afflicted worldwide is expected to nearly triple by 2050, posing a huge challenge to healthcare systems.

“Primary prevention of all dementia is a major global public health concern for the coming decades,” the researchers wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chemicals cast off by tailpipe pollution such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and soot are known to boost the risk for heart disease, stroke and respiratory problems, especially asthma.

But whether they also make Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia more likely has remained unclear.

To find out more, a team of researchers led by Iain Carey of the University of London’s Population Health Research Institute combed through health records for 131,000 people living in Greater London who, in 2004, were aged 50 to 79.

ADVERTISEMENT

None showed signs of dementia when the study began.

Based on residential addresses, the scientists estimated yearly exposure to both NO2 and fine particulates known as PM2.5, and then tracked the health of the participants over a seven-year period.

During that time, nearly 2,200 patients — 1.7 percent of the total — were diagnosed with dementia.

ADVERTISEMENT

The fifth of these patients living in the most heavily polluted areas were 40 percent more likely to be afflicted than the fifth residing in areas with the least NO2 and PM2.5.

– Public health gains –

Because the study was based on after-the-fact analysis rather than a clinical trial in an experimental setting, no firm conclusions can be drawn as to cause-and-effect, the authors cautioned.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the findings strongly suggest that the chemical byproducts of burning diesel and petrol can damage brain function.

“Traffic-related air pollution has been linked to poorer cognitive development in young children,” the study noted.

And even if the impact of air pollution remains relatively modest, they added, “the public health gains would be significant if it emerged that curbing exposure might delay progression of dementia.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The study was welcomed by experts who reviewed it before publication.

“There is a growing body of evidence of the link between air pollution and brain health, including dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Martie Van Tongeren, a professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Manchester.

“This adds to it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Kevin McConway of the Open University praised the study but noted that it only estimated exposure to pollutants at home, and did not account for NO2 and PM2.5 levels at or near places of work, or the amount of time spent away from home.

In September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency revealed that German car manufacturer VW has installed so-called “defeat devices” in its cars to cheat in emissions tests.

The European Environment Agency estimates that more than 400,000 people in Europe’s urban areas die prematurely every year due to outdoor air pollution.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Cop says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot following Trump’s racist targeting of The Squad

Published

on

Following racist attacks on members of The Squad by President Donald Trump and his supporters, a police officer in Louisiana reportedly said that one of the congresswomen of color should be shot.

Trump has been lashing out at the four first-term congresswomen, who include Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

"A Gretna police officer posted a comment on his Facebook page this past week calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a 'vile idiot' who 'needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve,'" NOLA reported Saturday.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Internet piles on ABC reporter for lavishing praise on Trump for allowing press to ask questions

Published

on

ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips on Saturday heaped praise on President Donald Trump for his treatment of the press.

Despite the White House no longer holding daily press briefings, Phillips praised the "access" she receives from the administration.

"No matter what your politics are, I have to say that I appreciate the access ⁦Trump⁩ gives us on a regular basis and the ability to ask any question," she said.

She tagged Stephanie Grisham in her tweet, who is Trump's latest press secretary. She also tagged her husband, John Roberts, who does not work in the White House, but works for Fox News.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘Trump wants to start a race war’: Ex-advisor alleges his campaign planned ‘Send her Back’ chants

Published

on

President Donald Trump is attempting to start a race war in America, a long-time advisor declared on MSNBC on Saturday evening.

Omarosa Manigault Newman was interviewed by Donny Deutsch on "Saturday Night Politics."

"You said could it happen here? It is happening here," Newman told Deutsch.

"As a woman of color watching him attack those four women, it made it very clear that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy," she said.

"And everyone has been kind of tiptoeing what this actually is. Donald Trump wants to start a race war in this country and it started at that rally — it started with the tweets," she said.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image