Air Pollution Raises Risk of Diabetes Precursor in Kids

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.

Insulin resistance climbed by 17 percent for every 10.6 micrograms per cubic meter increase in ambient nitrogen dioxide and by 19 percent for every 6 micrograms per cubic meter increase in particulate matter in the study of 10-year-olds. The findings were published today in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The study adds to previous research that showed a link between traffic-related air pollution and the development of diabetes in adults. Those studies have shown that exposure to fine pollution particles that invade the breathing system and get into the heart and blood vessels increases inflammation, which may be linked to insulin resistance, said Joachim Heinrich of the German Research Center for Environmental Health, one of the study authors.

“Given the ubiquitous nature of air pollution and the high incidence of insulin resistance in the general population, the associations examined here may have potentially important public health effects,” Heinrich said in the published paper.

Diabetes occurs when blood-sugar levels are too high. In the Type 1 form of the disease, the body is unable to produce insulin, the hormone used to convert blood sugar into energy. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either can’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to its effects.Diabetes Cases

Type 2 diabetes tends to strike later in life, brought on by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The Type 2 form accounts for 90 percent of the 347 million cases of diabetes globally, according to the World Health Organization in Geneva.

The researchers collected blood samples from the 397 children who were included in two German birth cohort studies. Exposures to air pollutants at their birth addresses were estimated by analyzing emissions from road traffic in the neighborhood, population density and land use in the area.

The measurements of blood insulin levels and estimates of pollution were taken at different times, so the findings “should be regarded with caution,” said Jon Ayres, a professor of environmental and respiratory medicine at the University of Birmingham in England. A larger study should be conducted to confirm the possible link, Ayres said in a statement.

A follow-up study at age 15 will explore how these findings evolve during and after puberty and the effect of moving to a cleaner area, Heinrich and his colleagues said.

The research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: