Wednesday June 26, 2019

Levels of Air Pollution Directly Linked to Oral Cancer: Study

A significant association was also observed for ozone levels below 28.69-30.97 parts per billion

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Air Pollution
Delhi air pollution again reaches 'severe' levels. Pixabay

Higher levels of air pollution may be linked to a heightened risk of developing oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, a study has found.

While mouth cancers have been associated with smoking, drinking, human papilloma virus, and the chewing of betel quid (“paan”), the study added to this list increased levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and to lesser extent, ozone.

“This study, with a large sample size, is the first to associate oral cancer with PM2.5… These findings add to the growing evidence on the adverse effects of PM2.5 on human health,” said researchers including Shou-Jen Lan, Professor at the Asia University, in Taiwan.

Exposure to heavy metals and emissions from petrochemical plants are also thought to be implicated in the development of the disease while PM2.5 is known to be harmful to respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Previously, high air pollution has been linked to a host of health problems, from an increased risk of dementia to asthma and even changes in the structure of the heart, with recent research suggesting there is no “safe level” of air pollution.

Air Pollution
Air Pollution. pixabay

For the new study, published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, the team discovered the association by looking at air pollution data from 66 air quality monitoring stations in Taiwan, collected in 2009.

They combined this with data from the health records of more than 4,80,000 men aged 40 and over from 2012-13. In total, there were 11,617 cases of mouth cancer among the participants.

They found that men exposed to the highest levels of PM2.5s had an increased risk of mouth cancer.

Compared with men exposed to average annual PM2.5 levels of 26.74 micrograms (µg) per cubic metre (m3) of air, those exposed to concentrations of 40.37 µg/m3 or higher had 43 per cent greater odds of developing the disease.

Air Pollution.
Air pollution may also lead to changes in heart structure. Pixabay

A significant association was also observed for ozone levels below 28.69-30.97 parts per billion.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is responsible for an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.

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Around 6,57,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed annually across the globe, with 3,30,000 of those patients dying, it said. (IANS)

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Study: Air Pollution Linked to Metabolic Syndrome, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases

Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of cardiovascular diseases, the researchers said

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air pollution, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension
Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of cardiovascular diseases, the researchers said. Pixabay

People who are exposed to high pollution levels are at significantly higher risk of suffering from hypertension, metabolic syndrome and heart diseases, says a new study.

In the study, published in Journal of Public Health, the researchers investigated the associations between a long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and residential distance to green spaces and major roads with the development of hypertension and metabolic syndrome components such as a high triglyceride level, reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, higher blood glucose, and obesity.

Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of cardiovascular diseases, the researchers said. The study’s findings showed that air pollution levels above the median are associated with a higher risk of reduced high density lipoprotein.

air pollution, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension
The study’s findings showed that air pollution levels above the median are associated with a higher risk of reduced high density lipoprotein. VOA

Traffic-related exposure was associated with the incidence of hypertension, higher triglyceride level and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, the negative impact of traffic air pollutants was observed only in the participants who lived in multifamily buildings.

ALSO READ: Paris to Restrict Car Use as a Measure to Fight Against Surging Air Pollution

The researchers also found positive effects of the natural environment, and have emphasized the positive impact of such spaces on cardiovascular health.

“Our research results enable us to say that we should regulate as much as possible the living space for one person in multifamily houses, improve the noise insulation of apartments, and promote the development of green spaces in multifamily houses” said study’s lead author Agn Brazien. (IANS)