Friday, January 21, 2011

Traffic Pollution Impacts on Older Men

Air Pollution (Effects on Humans) Policy Sub-C...
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Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Cognitive Function in a Cohort of Older Men (31 page pdf, Environ Health Perspect, Dec.20, 2010)

Also discussed here: Car Emissions Cloud the Mind (MedPage Today, Dec. 28, 2010)

The aging of society in many countries has also resulted in an increase in the number of sufferers from dementia and alzheimers disease. The journal article under review today confirms an association between particulate matter emitted by vehicles in traffic and cognitive thinking ability in older men, although the same association has already been shown with children and pets. This is yet another reason to limit exposure to traffic-related pollution and to limit or reduce traffic volume.

Key Quotes
“A doubling of exposure to black carbon -- a marker for traffic pollution -- was associated with a 30% greater chance of having a low score on a screening test for dementia”

"This is the first study to find an association between traffic-related air pollution and cognition in older men, and only the second to consider the relationship in older adults,"

“Children and dogs residing in a highly polluted city were also more likely to exhibit white matter hyperintensities in the prefrontal cortex than those residing in a city with lower levels”

“if traffic-related air pollution is causally related to cognitive impairment in older adults, implementation of interventions to reduce exposure, including establishment of more stringent emissions standards, would be expected to have substantial benefits,"

“They noted that traffic pollution could affect the central nervous system either directly or indirectly.”

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