To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Air pollution linked to high blood sugar in pregnant women


By EHN Staff, February 27, 2014


Pregnant women who lived in neighborhoods with more air pollution were twice as likely to have elevated blood sugar than women in less polluted areas, according to a new study of Boston area women. While previous research has linked fine particle pollution to type 2 diabetes, this is the first study to link it to high blood sugar during pregnancy. 
Pregnant women who lived in neighborhoods with more air pollution were twice as likely to have elevated blood sugar than women in less polluted areas, according to a new study of Boston area women.

While previous research has linked fine particle pollution to type 2 diabetes, this is the first study to link it to high blood sugar during pregnancy. High blood sugar can lead to serious complications in pregnancy, including preeclampsia and preterm birth, as well as obesity and insulin resistance in mother and child.

Researchers measured blood glucose levels of more than 2,000 pregnant women from the Boston area at the end of the second trimester, when doctors routinely screen pregnant women for gestational diabetes.

The researchers then measured fine particles, known as PM2.5, outside the women’s homes. Those who had the highest levels of fine particles were 2.3 times more likely to have elevated blood sugar levels than women in areas with less air pollution.

“To put our findings in perspective, the extent to which second trimester exposure increased odds of impaired glucose tolerance in the present study is the same order of magnitude as other well known risk factors for impaired glucose tolerance,” wrote the authors from Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Being overweight at the start of pregnancy and having family members with diabetes are major risk factors for gestational diabetes. On average, the study women were normal weight before pregnancy and only 8 percent had a family history of diabetes.

Air pollution was not associated with gestational diabetes, only impaired glucose tolerance, which is a less severe condition indicative of prediabetes. Sixty-five of the women, or about 3 percent, had impaired glucose tolerance, while 118 women, or about 6 percent, had higher levels and were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

It’s possible that women who are prone to more severe degrees of elevated blood sugar may be less sensitive to short-term air pollution exposures, according to the researchers.

The PM2.5 levels outside the women’s homes were not considered inordinately high. They “were almost uniformly lower” than federal health standards, the researchers wrote. One limitation is that the researchers didn’t measure the women’s actual exposures, just the pollutant levels near their homes.

The particulate levels were associated with traffic density, suggesting that vehicles were the major source of air pollution near the women’s homes. Black, Asian and Hispanic women were more likely than white women to live at addresses with higher levels of fine particles and traffic. The results may not be generalized to all pregnant women, because the study women were older and largely white.
Two earlier studies from the Netherlands and Sweden examined air pollution and blood sugar levels of pregnant women. The Dutch study found no association between traffic density and diabetes, while the Swedish study found one between gestational diabetes and nitrogen oxides, gases that come from vehicle exhaust and other sources that burn fossil fuels.

Up to 18 percent of pregnant women worldwide develop some degree of abnormal glucose tolerance by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, according to the researchers.

Pregnant women are at risk of high blood sugar and diabetes because insulin resistance increases during pregnancy as a result of weight gain and other normal physiological processes. Insulin takes sugars out of the bloodstream and helps them enter the body’s cells, where they can be used for energy.

27 February Air pollution linked to high blood sugar in pregnant women. Pregnant women who lived in neighborhoods with more air pollution were twice as likely to have elevated blood sugar than women in less polluted areas, according to a new study of Boston area women. Environmental Health News.

29 January Is the Central Valley's air pollution affecting our cells and genes? In California's Central Valley – in one of the most polluted air basins in the country – we know that poor air is bad for our health. We feel it in our eyes and throat, and when we struggle to breathe. But what if air pollution is affecting us at a deeper, cellular level? Fresno Valley Public Radio, California.

28 January Can car exhaust fumes cause dementia? Asthma. Heart attacks. Cancer. Even diabetes. Respiratory illnesses including asthma are just some of the health problems increasingly associated with air pollution. With some, poor air quality is a known cause. In others, it triggers new symptoms or exacerbates existing ones. London Daily Mail, United Kingdom.

22 January Air pollution causes more diseases than expected. It turns out that pollution may be deadlier than expected. Scientists have discovered that air pollution causes a list of injuries and diseases that's far longer than previously thought. Science World Report.

11 January Air pollution and diabetes. We’ve long known that air pollution is bad for our lungs and can even cause cardiovascular disease, but recent research suggests that breathing dirty air in combination with a fatty diet can promote diabetes. Living On Earth.

11 December Poor air quality keeps some Colorado students indoors. Air pollution levels have rapidly grown over the past two weeks, and have reached a point that some District 51 students are being forced to stay indoors. Grand Junction KREX TV, Colorado.

6 November Post-Diwali smog prompts health warnings in Delhi. The National Capital is staring at another spell of thick smog after Diwali fire-crackers significantly increased air pollution. On Tuesday, Delhi remained under the grip of smog which triggered a host of respiratory infections and other health problems. London Daily Mail, United Kingdom.

23 October Exposure to traffic pollution a health risk for third of Canadians: Researchers. Traffic-related air pollution poses major health risks for the one-third of Canadians who live or work close to high-traffic roads or highways, say researchers, suggesting there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the danger. Canadian Press.

9 October Noise pollution: the city dweller's environmental health risk. A recent large population study found that noise pollution increases an individual’s risk of heart disease — just like fine-particle air pollution. The Weather Channel.

29 September Dusting down clean air controls. Harm to human health from airborne dust pollution has been seriously underestimated, forcing Europe to revisit its air quality legislation this year. Times of Malta.

28 September Cleanest air in 50 years! How did New York do it? Air quality in New York and many other US cities has been getting better since the 1970s. One factor in New York's recent improvement: a phase-out of heavily polluting heating oil in older buildings. Christian Science Monitor.

25 July Study finds link between long-term exposure to air pollution and diabetes-related mortality. Researchers found that where diabetes was listed as the primary cause of death – about 5,200 deaths in total – the individuals had lived in areas with a higher level of air pollution for 10 years or more. Windsor Star, Ontario.

4 July Europe must tackle air pollution, warn UN scientists. The health effects of air pollution have been underestimated and Europe should review its laws to tackle the problem, UN scientists have concluded after a major review of new evidence. The Guardian.
18 June Heavy pollution linked to risk of a
utism, study shows. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that diesel, mercury, lead, manganese and methylene chloride in the air significantly increased the risk of having a child with autism. The results add to a growing body of research that links air pollution to autism. Portland Oregonian, Oregon.

10 May Air pollution raises risk of diabetes precursor in kids. Exposure to air pollution raises the risk of resistance to insulin, a typical warning sign of diabetes, according to a study of almost 400 German children. Bloomberg News.

10 May Diabetes: Dirty air 'may raise' insulin resistance risk. Children's exposure to air traffic pollution could increase their risk of insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes in adults, suggests a study in Diabetologia. But some experts say the results should be treated with caution. BBC.

8 May Pittsburgh health summit finds link between pollution, health problems. High levels of air pollution make the Pittsburgh region a risky area to live when it comes to asthma, cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to studies presented Tuesday by a parade of researchers at a public health summit Downtown. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania.

7 May 'AC, carpeted rooms triggering asthma attacks.' Long hours spent in air-conditioned and carpeted rooms and genetic factors are now being increasingly seen as major causes of asthma, which was earlier attributed mainly to vehicular exhaust and other forms of air pollution. Times of India, India.

30 April Michigan results mixed in new air quality study. Michigan has reduced overall air pollution since 2012, but its most populous counties still don’t earn a passing grade, according to a new report from the American Lung Association. The State of the Air report provides grades of A to F in two areas: particle pollution and ozone action days. Oakland Press, Michigan.

24 April Monmouth, Ocean counties get F's for ozone pollution. Ozone pollution in Monmouth and Ocean counties earned failing grades for the 14th year in a row, but Ocean received an A for particle pollution in an annual report on air quality. Asbury Park Press, New Jersey.