According to a new study, air pollution can worsen the blood sugar levels, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. Study participants tended to have higher blood sugar levels and a poorer cholesterol profile when they were exposed to higher average levels of air particulates.
Researchers from the Endocrine Society have found the harmful air pollutants can pose a serious threat to human health, especially to heart in the preceding three months compared to those exposed to lower levels of air pollutants.
Lead author of the report Victor Novack, MD, PhD, of Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, said while air pollution is linked with relatively small changes in cardio-metabolic risk factors, the continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected is a cause for concern.
He added even small changes in glucose levels and glycemic control can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk. Particulate matter exposure was associated with increases in blood glucose, LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides or fats in the blood.
Maayan Yitshak Sade, MPH, of Ben-Gurion University, said they have found an association between air pollution exposure in the intermediate term and in undesirable changes in cholesterol. "This suggests that cumulative exposure to air pollution over the course of a lifetime could lead to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease," he said.