PARIS: Air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, according to a US study, which found even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease.
Diabetes has primarily been associated with lifestyle factors like diet and a sedentary lifestyle, but research by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis said pollution also plays a major role.
The study estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016 — or around 14 per cent of all new diabetes cases globally that year.
“Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s senior author.
Pollution is thought to reduce the body’s insulin production, “preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health,” according to the research.