Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How is Traffic-Related Air Pollution Related to Dementia?

Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Dementia Incidence in Northern Sweden: A Longitudinal Study (7 Page pdf, Anna Oudin, Bertil Forsberg, Annelie Nordin Adolfsson, Nina Lind, Lars Modig, Maria Nordin, Steven Nordin, Rolf Adolfsson, and Lars-Göran Nilsson, Environmental Health Perspectives, Mar. 1, 2016)

Today we review research which assessed the exposure of a cohort of elderly patients (79-81 years old) to traffic related air pollution (represented by NO2) in a northern Swedish city. Conclusions included observed associations between dementia incidence and local traffic pollution. The magnitude of the association was similar for both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The importance of further research is underlined by the predicted tripling of Alzheimer’s Disease over the next 40 years unless preventive measures are taken.

 sweden dementia no2  

Key Quotes:

“to assess the association between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and dementia incidence in a major city in northern Sweden” “there is a growing body of evidence indicating that air pollution causes neuropathological effects and central nervous system disease”

 “Within the next 40 years, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is expected to triple unless preventive measures are developed” “As early as 1970, it was reported that mental efficiency decreased when adults tested in London were breathing air pumped from the street as opposed to clean air”

“Umeå is a city with very low regional background levels of air pollution, but there are strong gradients within the city, and yearly violations of the NO2 limits are reported to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the European Environmental Agency.”

 “The major source of our exposure measure, NOx, was vehicle exhaust from local traffic. However, road dust shares the same patterns as those of NOx and exhaust particles in Sweden”

 “We observed associations between dementia incidence and local traffic pollution that remained after adjusting for known risk factors. The magnitude of the association was similar for both AD and VaD ( Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia)”

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