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Study published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, the research team analyzed the link between fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution and neurodegenerative diseases in the US. Pixabay

New research adds to the growing body of evidence that air pollution is significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias.

For the study, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, the research team analyzed the link between fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution and neurodegenerative diseases in the US.


Particulate matter (PM2.5) — tiny airborne particles smaller than 1/10,000 of an inch in diameter — comes from various combustion-related sources including industrial emissions, transportation, wildfires, and chemical reactions of pollutants in the atmosphere.

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The researchers leveraged an unparalleled amount of data compared to any previous study of air pollution and neurological disorders.

“Our study builds on the small but emerging evidence base indicating that long-term PM2.5 exposures are linked to an increased risk of neurological health deterioration, even at PM2.5 concentrations well below the current national standards,” said study author Xiao Wu from the Harvard University in the US.


The researchers leveraged an unparalleled amount of data compared to any previous study of air pollution and neurological disorders. Unsplash

During the study, the research team looked at 17 years’ worth (2000-2016) of hospital admissions data from 63,038,019 Medicare recipients in the US and linked these with estimated PM2.5 concentrations by zip code.

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Taking into account potential confounding factors like socioeconomic status, they found that, for every five micrograms per cubic meter of air (mg/m3) increase in annual PM2.5 concentrations, there was a 13 percent increased risk for first-time hospital admissions both for Parkinson’s disease and for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

This risk remained elevated even below supposedly safe levels of PM2.5 exposure, which, according to current US Environmental Protection Agency standards, is an annual average of 12 mg/m3 or less.

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Women, white people, and urban populations were particularly susceptible, the study found.

“Our study shows that the current standards are not protecting the aging American population enough, highlighting the need for stricter standards and policies that help further reduce PM2.5 concentrations and improve air quality overall,” the authors wrote. (IANS)


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

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