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Exposure to air pollution can increase risk of dementia, according to a study

Globally, dementia affects more than 57 million people, and the number of cases is growing. Evidence shows that increasing air pollution can be a causal factor.

Edited By: India TV Health Desk New Delhi Published on: April 14, 2023 12:24 IST
Exposure to air pollution
Image Source : HTTPS://CANVA.ME/NN1RY6B6YYB Exposure to air pollution can increase risk of dementia, according to a study

Dementia refers to several mental conditions that impair thinking, memory, and daily functioning, especially in elderly people. Factors such as age, hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, inactivity, social isolation, and sadness can increase the risk of dementia.

A recent study found that exposure to air pollution increases dementia risk, as does exposure to nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The results by BMJ suggest that air pollutants are risk factors for dementia, and caution should be taken when interpreting these findings.

The number of people living with dementia has surpassed 57 million, which is rising significantly. Since there aren't many interventions available to slow or stop dementia's onset, no definitive conclusions were drawn.  

The study was conducted to address the growing number of people living with dementia. They discovered 51 research studies revealing links between air pollution averaged over a year or more and adult dementia diagnoses. 

Researchers found a correlation between increased dementia risk and increased exposure to fine particle pollution after incorporating 16 papers, largely from North America and Europe.

According to 14 studies that particularly addressed the impact of PM2.5 on dementia, the risk of dementia increased by 4% for every 2 ug/m3 increase in the average yearly PM2.5 concentration.

Results from studies revealed that for every 2 ug/m3 rise in the average yearly PM2.5 concentration, the risk of dementia increased by 42%, with the most conservative estimate putting the danger at higher than 17%. The studies also claimed an increase in the risk of dementia associated with exposure to nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

However, the research failed to discover a connection between ozone and dementia.

Reducing air pollution is essential for global health and humanitarian causes, as it will have a positive impact on dementia and other climate change issues.

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