Thursday, February 9, 2017
Air pollution linked to heightened risk of type 2 diabetes in obese Latino children.
Air pollution linked to heightened risk of type 2 diabetes in obese Latino children. Latino children who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes. Scientists tracked children's health and respective levels of residential air pollution for about 3.5 years before associating chronic unhealthy air exposure to a breakdown in beta cells, special pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and maintain the appropriate sugar level in the bloodstream. By the time the children turned 18, their insulin-creating pancreatic cells were 13 percent less efficient than normal, making these individuals more prone to eventually developing Type 2 diabetes. The children lived in neighborhoods that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, had excess nitrogen dioxide and tiny air pollution particles that are generated by automobiles and power plants, formally called particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5). Researchers found that the beta cells that were still functional were overworking to compensate for the damaged cells, leading to burn out. As the cells failed to secrete insulin efficiently, regulation of sugar in the bloodstream overwhelmed the system, heightening the risk of Type 2 diabetes.