Apart from being recognized as an established risk factor for stroke and respiratory disease, air pollution might be associated with a heightened risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, as scientists say. A London-based study that involved 131,000 patients established associations that couldn’t be explained by known factors that influence the risks of developing the condition.
Pollution estimates vs. sample
The researchers used carefully calculated estimates of air and noise pollution levels across the Greater London area, looking for potential links to new dementia diagnoses. In order to do this, they focused on anonymous patient health records stored at the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). This research service that operates within the UK Department of Health has been collecting data from participating general practices in the UK since 1987. The research focused on about 131,000 patients aged 50 to 79 in 2004 who hadn’t been diagnosed with dementia, registered at 75 general practices within the London orbital M25 motorway.
Through validating modelling methods, validated with recorded measurements and the patients’ residential postcodes, the researchers were able to estimate not only their yearly exposure to air pollutants, especially nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), but also their proximity to traffic and road noise. Then they tracked the health of these patients for an average of 7 years, until a diagnosis of dementia, deregistration from the practice or death, whichever occurred first. During the monitored period, 1.7% of the participants were diagnosed with dementia.
Unexplained by known risk factors
These diagnoses, including the Alzheimer’s disease, were associated with ambient levels of NO2 and PM2.5 that were measured at the patients’ homes at the start of the monitoring period in 2004. What is more, these associations were consistent and unexplained by known risk factors like smoking and diabetes. Still, when restricted to specific types of dementia, they lingered only for the participants diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The patients living in the top fifth of NO2 levels had a 40 percent heightened risk of being diagnosed with dementia than those living in the bottom fifth.
A possible alternative
Perhaps a more elaborate study is needed, one which would include people provided with individualised dementia care. These programs include highly trained staff and 24-hour clinical support that provide security, stability and peace of mind to both the residents and their families. Apart from in-depth patient knowledge and leading staff to resident ratios, these programs capitalise on light-filled spaces, calming palettes of blues and greens and private gardens which offer a safe connection to the outdoors.
Potential for additional research
While an increase in risk similar to NO2 levels was observed for higher PM2.5 levels as well, researchers agree that this is an observational study, and as such, has difficulties establishing the cause, with the findings applicable to London only. The researchers also missed the opportunity to single out long-term exposures, which may be relevant for Alzheimer’s disease which often takes many years to develop. However, they suggest that traffic-related pollution has been linked to slower cognitive development in young children, and continued exposure to neuroinflammation and altered brain immune system.
The development of dementia involves many factors, but the exact cause of the condition is still unknown. And while researchers point out several plausible pathways for air pollutants to reach the brain, no one has explained how they might contribute to neurodegeneration. Even if the impact of air pollution was relatively modest, public health would gain much if reducing the exposure to it may delay the onset of dementia.
How To Find Low Competition Long Tail Keywords Using Free Tools
Keywords are the most fundamental and highest ROI activity when it comes to SEM and SEO. Having the right keywords,...
Top Tips For Healthy Family Meals On A Budget
A healthy diet is not very difficult to follow since there is a lot of information available on the Internet...
Tips For Your Morning Skincare Routine
Keeping your skin healthy can come down to numerous things. A healthy diet will be a good start in keeping...
How to Make SEO Work For You and Your Business
The world of search engine optimization has changed a lot, but certain fundamental principles like focusing on target keywords to...
How to Increase Your Vegetable Garden Yield This Year
If you are going thru the effort of planning, planting, caring, and growing your plants, you naturally want to get...
Why Families Benefit From A Family Dentist When Dealing With Oral Health Issues
Oral Health issues can be a source of conflict and stress in families, especially in families with young children. Not...
What Type Of SEO Is Effective?
Every business knows that it takes a huge amount of time and money to maintain a website. However, no one...
4 Reasons to Replace Your Car’s Engine With Performance Parts
Performance parts are the best kind of upgrades you can make to a car. Performance cars have a higher price...
Maximum Power: Update Your Old House For Modern Electrical Needs
An outdated electrical system can wreak havoc on your energy bills and greatly increase your risk of structural damage. If...
Key Techniques To Learn On A First Aid Course
Introduction First aid training is an incredible qualification that can enable one to offer life saving assistance in an emergency....
Best Tips For Managing Your Building and Construction Projects
Building and construction projects consist of many tasks, from job-site duties to office paperwork. Juggling it all can oftentimes be...
How To Choose The Best Locksmith For The Job
The existence of a locksmith is very crucial for society because they help out countless people on a daily basis....
5 Modern Conservatory Ideas To Create A Serene Escape
Having a serene and relaxing conservatory is the dream, especially in the summer months. Creating an extension of your home...
4 Different Types Of Lifting Equipment For A Construction Site
One of the biggest challenges on a construction site is the problem of lifting heavy materials and tools to a...
5 Tips That Can Help Your Business Flourish
Many, both small and big, businesses were affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, no one was spared. Overnight,...
Tech6 years ago
Creating An e-Commerce Website
Tech6 years ago
Design Template Guidelines For Mobile Apps
Business6 years ago
The Key Types Of Brochure Printing Services
Travel9 years ago
Who Else Wants Also Nfl Hat
General6 years ago
Kobe Bryant With His Unique Nba Jerseys
Tech7 years ago
Why Small Businesses Can't Ignore Mobile Technology
Tech6 years ago
Climb Google Using These Checklists
Health8 years ago
Health Supplements For Sports Activities Nutrition