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Science & Technology

Traffic-driven diabetes

3 Comments
Author(s): Manupriya
Oct 15, 2010 | From the print edition

Air pollution may raise risk

imageSTRESS, frustration, rising blood pressure and breathing problems are common in motorists who spend hours in traffic jams. Now scientists have found another health consequence of traffic snarls— diabetes.

Scientists from German Diabetes Centre and the Institute for Environmental Medical Research at Heinrich Heine University, Germany, claim traffic-related air pollution could raise a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study, led by Wolfgang Rathmann, started in 1985. It included 1,775 healthy women, all 55 years old. They were from the industrialised Rhur district of West Germany and nearby non-industrialised towns. The researchers examined the participants again between 1990-2006 and found that 187 of them had developed diabetes. Data from environmental agencies was collected to determine each woman’s exposure to air pollution.

Living within 100 metres of busy roads more than doubled the risk of diabetes, Rathmann said. Components of traffic pollution, particularly nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, were significantly associated with a higher risk of the disease, he added. The more pollution a woman encountered, the greater was her chance of developing diabetes, the researchers concluded in the September issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Rathmann called for additional confirmatory research so that preventive measures could be taken. He commented, “The relevance of our study may be greater in some Asian countries, including India, because air pollution there is 10 times higher than in Germany.” India is home to 50 million diabetics.

Ambrish Mithal, who heads the division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon, said “though the study is interesting and relevant in Indian context, it is preliminary in nature”.

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Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even. There are some cases that I've heard that some people have no symptoms of diabetic but if undergo to blood test it can show if you have diabetes. Weight control, proper meal plan and exercise can help control diabetes. 

2 October 2010
Posted by
Janie Miller

If you have diabetes, just think of diabetes as a star-struck lover who will never leave your side, no matter how far on a package tour or cruise or bus ride you go. There is no escaping it, even if you’re near the peak of Mount Fuji or inside the pyramids of Giza. It does not mean, however, that you can’t have fun when you travel with diabetes. What is important is proper preparation and planning way ahead. Anticipating the worst case scenarios almost always helps in avoiding them. 

4 October 2010
Posted by
Zuzana Hughes

Certainly there are the impetus of one's life style on the health related issues. One must consider the effect of genotype as well. Its always a matter of debate among the biologists that how and what can dominate in a said condition of interaction of these two factors. One thing for now is sure that the person with a more vulnerable genetic make up has got more chance to develop a disease with respect to it normal counterpart. Along with that it is also a proven fact that active life style can help to come out of bad reflection of genetic make up.

31 January 2011
Posted by
Vinay K Baranwal

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