Study looks at link between pollution, heart disease in diabetic women
“Although studies have shown that people with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to the cardiovascular effects of acute exposures to air pollution, our study is one of the first to demonstrate high risks of cardiovascular disease among individuals with diabetes with long-term exposures to particulate matter,” Jaime Hart, the study's lead author, said.
The study analyzed a group of over 114,000 women in the U.S. whose average age was 64. Of the test subjects, 6,767 were stricken with cardiovascular disease, while 3,878 were diagnosed with coronary disease and 3,295 suffered strokes.
The types of air pollution used in the study were fine-particle pollution smaller than 2.5 thousandths of a millimeter (smaller than a dust speck); pollutants larger than 2.5 parts per million but smaller than 10 parts per million and pollutants larger than 10 parts per million.
All the women's chances of heart disease increased with more air pollution exposure. For strokes, the risk for 44 percent for the smallest size pollution; 17 percent for the mid-size and 19 percent for exposure to both.
Groups at higher risk included women over 70, those who were overweight and women who resided in the southern and northeastern U.S.
“It is important to identify these subgroups, so that pollution standards can be developed that protect them,” Hart said.
Organizations in this story
National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD - 20892