Air pollution appears to foster diabetes

Findings confirm previously published animal data

1:49pm, October 4, 2010

A pair of new studies — one in the United States, another in Germany — reports strong evidence that diabetes rates climb with increasing air pollution in the form of of tiny airborne particles.

“Although previous studies had hinted at this possibility, the data were mostly from small studies or from animals exposed to high levels of particulate matter,” notes Aruni Bhatnagar, a cardiovascular researcher at the University of Louisville in Kentucky who did not take part in either study. He says the new data provide important and more rigorous evidence that real-world pollution may be tampering with blood sugar control in a large and growing number of people.

Both new studies focused on tiny airborne motes spewed primarily by traffic, coal-fired power plants and industrial boilers.

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