Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Traffic Air Pollution and Type 2 Diabetes

Long-term Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution and Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence in a Cross-sectional Screening-study in the Netherlands (25 page pdf, Marieke B.A. Dijkema, Sanne F. Mallant, Ulrike Gehring, Katja van den Hurk, Marjan Alssema, Rob T. van Strien, Paul H. Fischer, Giel Nijpels, Coen D.A. Stehouwer, Gerard Hoek, Jacqueline M. Dekker and Bert Brunekreef, Environmental Health, Sep. 5, 2011)

The article under review today looks at the statistical links between exposure and proximity to traffic related pollution and the occurrence of diabetes, a disease that has many causes. The results did not indicate a strong link with traffic volume or length of exposure and only a weak association with distance to major roads within 250 m.

Key Quotes:

“This study examined the relation between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and type 2 diabetes prevalence among 50- to 75-year-old subjects living in Westfriesland, the Netherlands”

“No freeways are present in the study area. Two highways, known as provincial roads in the Netherlands, with a traffic flow of approximately 15,000 to 25,000 vehicles/24hrs”

“smooth plots of exposure versus type 2 diabetes risk supported some association with traffic in a 250m buffer.. Modeled NO2-concentration, distance to the nearest main road and traffic flow at the nearest main road were not associated with diabetes. Associations seemed to be stronger for women compared to men”

“Distance to the nearest main road is a metric being increasingly used in policy practice, modeled NO2-concentration, however, is probably a more precise metric of exposure to traffic related air pollution”

This study did not find consistent associations between type 2 diabetes prevalence and exposure to traffic related air pollution, though there were some indications for a relation with traffic in a 250m buffer”
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