- 14% of diabetes cases because of air pollution were reported in 2016
- People can get diabetes despite living a healthy lifestyle
- Diabetes is a multifactorial chronic condition
Hazardous levels of air pollution have often made breathing difficult for people living in areas of high pollution leading to.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer, respiratory infection, stroke, and even heart disease. And now, a new study has found that air pollution can also result in diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition which increases levels of sugar in the blood. Genetics and lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits and obesity to name a few are the reasons why people get diabetic. Speaking of air pollution, a study was conducted to show that even at the level in which air quality is considered to be safe, it can be a cause of diabetes. 1 out of 7 people were found to get diabetes because of air pollution. The study was published in Lancet Planetary Health. The study is considered to be significant because it quantifies the burden of air pollution and diabetes. In 2016, 3.2 million new diabetes cases - which is 14% of the total diabetes cases - were reported because of air pollution.
The World Health Organization has said that a person who has been living a healthy lifestyle has been diagnosed with diabetes because of poor air quality and air pollution. The more worrisome fact is that 14 of the world's most polluted cities are in India. A US-based research has said that air pollution can trigger inflammation, which can contribute to reduction in insulin production in the body. Since India is a more polluted country as compared to countries in the West, risks of diabetes because of air pollution are higher here.
Incidence of diabetes has increased by 64% in the past 24 years, reports Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Thus, it is probably the time when controlling air pollution levels is of grave importance. Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects as many as 420 million globally. It is a multifactorial condition, which can be improved or reversed by introducing healthy lifestyle changes and taking medications, timely and consistently.