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Air pollution causes diabetes in adolescents: Study

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 Rohit Shishodia
Different studies and analyses have revealed that long term exposure to air pollution can impact the overall health of an individual. A study recently published in PubMed has revealed that increase in PM 2.5 can also cause diabetes in adolescents.

PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the Mediline database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval.

The results of this study are a warning for policy makers in Delhi-NCR and other parts of India where air pollution reaches from poor to hazardous levels. The study was conducted on 482 adolescents aged 14-18 years in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2016. The results of the study found association between increase in PM 2.5 and fasting plasma glucose (FPG).  

Researchers of the study were quoted as saying, “We collected individual data on socio-demographics, behavioral habits, and health information through standardized questionnaires. Satellite-based PM2.5 concentrations from 2013 to 2016 were assigned based on participants' residential addresses.”

“The association between PM2.5 and FPG was examined using a generalized linear regression model while FPG was modeled as a continuous variable. An ordered logistic regression model was used to assess the relationship between PM2.5 and FPG categories,” they added.

They concluded that long-term exposure to PM2.5 was associated with increased FPG levels in Indonesian non-diabetic adolescents.

According to the study, adolescents' sex, obesity status and different cutoff points of FPG did not modify the association between the exposure to PM2.5 and FPG levels.

“Finding of this research is that air pollution may be pushing more children towards diabetes. This is a wake up call for all,” said Dr Karan Madan, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Delhi-AIIMS.


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