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Bioscience-Medicine

Study: Increased Diabetes Risk Linked To Air Quality

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A particulate that chokes the air wherever you find cars has been linked to the development of Type II diabetes. The particulate is called PM 2.5.

Dr. Fred Campbell, associate professor of medicine at UT Health in San Antonio, said it's not clear how the quality of the air we breathe increases our risk for type two diabetes. But, in a study that looked at 1.7 million U.S. veterans over eight years, those who lived in areas with higher concentrations of PM 2.5 in the air had a much higher risk of developing the disease.

The study said, in 2016, 150,000 new cases of diabetes were the result of inhaling PM 2.5.

So if you're at risk for Type II diabetes, what should you do?

Campbell says pay attention to the air quality. When the air quality reports indicate high levels of particulate matter in the air, minimize your time outside.

Campbell also said, as a public policy matter, we should support anything that reduces the number of exhaust producing cars on the roads. He thinks shifting to electric and hybrid cars would help, as well as moving to using more solar and wind power.

Bonnie Petrie can be reached at bonnie@tpr.org