Children who are more exposed to air pollution exposure are likely to increases insulin resistance in their body. As a result, they are increasingly at risk of developing diabetes as adults.
This was discovered by researchers in Germany after observing 397 children aged 10 years old who lived near heavy traffic which has high levels of pollution. The study, published in Diabetologia, found that children exposed to pollution were at increased risk of insulin resistance by seven percent per 500 m.
Air pollution is known to be able to affect the lipid and protein in the blood. Children who become participants in this study did a blood test at the age of 10 years. Pollution exposure was estimated based on the level of pollution in their homes in 2008-2009.
The study calculates BMI, birth weight, and possible exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes, as reported by the BBC (10/05).
As a result, this study suggests that there are higher levels of insulin resistance in children exposed to air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide or other material. In addition, the effect of air pollution is also greater in children who had a greater BMI.
Elisabeth Thiering and Joachim Heinrich, who led the research at the German Centre for Environmental health research is clear that the link between air pollution and insulin resistance can be explained.
“Although the levels of toxins in the air is different, but all of them can be classified as an oxidant that affect lipid and protein,” said Dr. Heinrich.
Even so Professor Jon Ayres, an expert on environmental and respiratory medicine at the University of Birmingham explained that the results of this study remains unclear. The reason is because insulin levels and levels of pollution in the air was not collected at the same time.
For that, Ayres explained that the results of this study can be accepted with certain notes. Furthermore, Ayres argues that researchers need to do more research to confirm these results.
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