About one-fifth of the global burden of type 2 diabetes is attributable PM2·5 pollution. Air pollution mitigation can play an essential role in reducing the global incidence.
In the midst of alarming air pollution levels and a steady surge in diabetes cases in India, a recent study finds that poor air quality is a substantial risk factor for diabetes. The inhalation of polluted air containing elevated levels of PM2.5 particles is linked to heightened blood sugar levels and a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Although, traditionally, dietary habits, obesity, and physical inactivity have been considered the main culprits for the escalating number of diabetes cases, research shows that about one-fifth of the global burden of type 2 diabetes is attributable PM2·5 pollution.
The connection between contaminated air and diabetes has increasingly become a point of concern. Elevated levels of fine particulate matter, often stemming from vehicle emissions, industrial operations, and even natural sources, incite inflammation and oxidative stress within the body, which, in turn, leads to insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism.
Prolonged exposure to air pollutants, according to a cross-sectional study from China, is linked to disruptions in glucose regulation and heightened risks of both pre-diabetes and diabetes. Furthermore, the inflammation processes associated with both the innate and adaptive immune systems play a role in mediating the connections between air pollutants and disruptions in glucose regulation.
Efforts to combat air pollution not only promise environmental benefits, but also hold the potential to alleviate the burden of diabetes and its associated complications. A healthier environment equates to healthier communities. Air pollution mitigation can play an essential role in reducing the global disease burden resulting from type 2 diabetes.
On this World Diabetes Day, let us reevaluate our environmental footprint and work towards a cleaner, healthier air for all. It’s time to clear the air for the sake of our health and the generations to come.