How Air Pollution Links to Type 2 Diabetes

In recent years, the incidence of diabetes has increased dramatically worldwide which is linked to an “epidemic” of obesity. In addition to obesity, there appears to be a direct cause and effect relationship, with correlation studies showing that exposure to air pollution is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can learn more about how air pollution affects our health in general here. Even more alarming is that exposure level to hazardous particles in the environment is positively correlated with the blood glucose level of people living in these regions. Here is what you should know about how air pollution links to type 2 diabetes.

air pollution affects type 2 diabetes

Overview of Air Pollution

According to WHO, air pollution refers to the contamination of any chemical, physical and biological particles to indoor and outdoor environments which modifies the nature of the atmosphere. Having said that, household burning appliances, motor vehicles, industrial sites, and forest fires are all typical sources of air pollution. Pollutants of public health concern include particulate matter, carbon dioxide, ozone, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Indoor and outdoor air pollution cause respiratory illnesses and other life-threatening ailments. The WHO also states that 92% of the world’s population lives in areas where air pollution exceeds safe limits. So the scope of the problem of air pollution-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, should be clear.

How Air Pollution Affects Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers have found that compounds in the polluted atmosphere are linked to inflammation development in the human body. This link may be stronger in obese individuals, as many substances accumulate in fat. Obesity may play an essential role in preparing the body for pollution-induced inflammation and irregular metabolism. However, further studies are needed to confirm this. In animal studies, chronic inflammation has been shown to promote insulin resistance, which contributes to diabetes. Over time, this also increases blood sugar levels, making an individual susceptible to type 2 diabetes.


The entire world is facing an unprecedented epidemic of diabetes. It is known to be a lifestyle disease to which air pollution also contributes. Researchers agree that diabetes mellitus as a lifestyle disease can be controlled by making some changes in our lives. But we need to break the link with pollution. The most effective ways are to ensure to protect our mother earth from air pollution by planting some trees and applying the 4R.

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