Health Care

Air pollution can worsen osteoporosis

Air pollution can worsen osteoporosis”

Previous work has shown that air pollution is also associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, acute respiratory diseases such as asthma, and even dementia. Once an older adult suffers a bone fracture, their risk for death increases by as much as 20 percent, and only 40 percent of those who had fractures regain their independence.

The research team checked medical data for 692 middle-aged low-income men from the Boston area for the second study.

The study stated that while air pollution already poses a grave risk on people's mortality, it has also noted to be a risk for osteoporosis.

The researchers are the first to document high rates of hospital admissions for bone fractures in communities with elevated levels of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5), a component of air pollution, with risk of bone fracture admissions greatest in low-income communities.

There are almost 2 million osteoporosis-related fractures in the United States each year.

"Particulate matter, including PM2.5, is known to cause systemic oxidative damage and inflammation, which could accelerate bone loss and increase the risk of bone fractures in older individuals", said researchers led by Andrea Baccarelli, Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University, the US.

But in an editorial published with the studies, Tuan Nguyen, PhD, of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales, Australia, wrote that the studies are just the latest in a growing body of research linking air pollution exposure to osteoporosis: "Osteoporosis and its effect of fragility fracture represent one of the most important public health problems worldwide because fracture is associated with increased mortality".

During testing, the experts analyzed data from more than 9 million people and found a connection between air pollution and bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.

The investigators found that even a small increase in exposure to air pollution particulate matter called PM2.5 was associated with an increase in fractures among older adults.

Funding for this research was provided by the National Institutes of Health, Institute on Aging, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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