Air pollution is associated with many diseases, including asthma, heart disease and diabetes. But this is the first time when researchers from the University of Massachusetts looked at how air pollution impacts those who are obese.
For the study, the senior researcher Srimathi Kannan along with the colleagues collected data on air pollution and health of people who is living in Detroit, including low and high income families, different racial and ethnic groups. 348 people had their blood pressure, weight, height and waist size measured. Over half of them were obese and 57 percent had the waist size that indicated higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. 68 percent had high blood pressure and 36 percent had a soaring cholesterol levels. Average air pollution levels were the same in the three areas, but in one place the levels were 20 percent higher.
The researchers found people who are living in the area with the highest air pollution levels were more likely to have high pulse pressure, which is the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition, people who are living in highly polluted places also had high systolic blood pressure. It had no relation to whether the person was obese or had normal weight; however, the prevalence was greater among the obese.
For people who already suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, air pollution can aggravate these conditions.
The study was published last week in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Source of the image: sxc.hu/profile/Thoursie.