The dangerous link between air pollution and diabetes
This year, the scientific journal The Lancet Planetary Health alerted the scientific community that the fine particulate Material (a mixture of liquid and solid particles, of organic and inorganic substances, you are suspended in the air) It is not only associated with respiratory and heart diseases. There is also another dangerous link: the relationship of these pollutants with diabetes.
Using data from the population of USA, global background on diabetes and others from the U.S. environmental protection agency. UU. and Nasa, the authors of that work were able to establish the association between exposure to contaminants from the air and diabetes globally. Their results show estimates that warn that air pollution is responsible for 14% of all new cases of diabetes in the world.
Other factors also influence the risk of disease, as genetic background, weight, level of physical activity and diet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 422 million people today living with Diabetes type 2, you figure that in 1980 it was 108 million.
Chile is not far behind. Health surveys carried out in the years 2003-2009 and 2016 show that the prevalence of the disease has tripled since 2003, with a rise in all age groups, but especially in adolescents and young adults.
The figures placed Chile among the countries with the highest rates of diabetes in the world and the first in South America, highlights Ximena Fernández, Master's degree in epidemiology from the Catholic University. "It is estimated that diabetes is responsible for 3% of deaths in Chile. Diabetes accompanies the significant increase of overweight and obesity, today, together they reach about 75% of the population", clarifies.
At the same time, highlights the expert Cinthya Leiva, candidate for master of public health Cedeus, Chile holds the sad record of having high levels of air pollutants in much of the country. "In the North stands out contamination by the presence of emissions from thermal power plants and mining megafuentes. In the area industrial activity center, mobile sources, thermal power plants and residential emissions are the main sources that emit pollutants into the air. At last, in the South, are located a number of industrial activities which contribute to the pollution", warns.
However, says Leiva, strong consumption of wood for home heating is the factor that most contributes to worsen the levels of the air quality in that area of the country. "Most polluted cities of the South are Padre Las Casas, Osorno, Temuco, Valdivia and Coyhaique, This ranked as the city with the worst quality of Air America", indicates.
For Sandra Cortes, research associate ACCDiS-MAUCO and researcher at Cedeus, Until now, not known what are the implications of high levels of contaminants from the air on the risk of diabetes, "and even less has been estimated the load by diseases such as diabetes or insulin resistance in children already showing high prevalences of these alterations".
However, raises, If the air pollution causes diabetes in 3,2 million people every year around the world, is valid to wonder, What can you expect is for Chile?
What we have done to reduce these pathologies? Experts agree that know that air pollution is a modifiable factor. Several countries have already controlled their levels through successful strategies, says cuts, including environmental interventions, territorial planning and regulatory demands, especially in the improvement and development of more emissions in relation to megafuentes standards.
Pollution control requires action by all stakeholders. In this way it is possible to achieve an effective promotion of health and prevention of diseases such as diabetes, "especially since early ages, integrating variables that so far have not been considered within their potential risk factors, such as the air pollution", indicates Leiva.