Exposure to traffic-related air pollution is a known risk factor for stroke, heart and respiratory disease, as well as poorer cognitive development in children. Now researchers in London, England, have linked air pollution to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In an observational study, the health of 131,000 people between 50 and 79 years of age, living within the orbital M25 motorway, was tracked over seven years. During this period, 1.7 percent were diagnosed with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers calculated their distance from major roads and estimated levels of exposure to various toxicants, including nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter found in traffic-related air pollution. While the causes of neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s are still unclear, the researchers were able to link toxicant exposure to new diagnoses of the disease. Their results contribute to a growing body of evidence that suggests significant public health gains could be made by reducing our exposure to air pollution.
SOURCE: BMJ Open
DATE Retrieved: September 19, 2018