A recent global study has found a clear link between exposure to air pollution and developing dementia later in life.
Researchers found that rates of dementia were more likely when people were exposed to two types of air pollutants over a long period of time, these pollutants are particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrous oxides (NOx).
The study looked at people living in the UK, Canada, Sweden, Taiwan and the US. It revealed that exposure to the pollutants may lead to an increased risk of dementia via two methods – by increasing levels of inflammation in the body and by raising the risk of stroke. The risk of developing the condition is much higher after a stroke.
Last year (2018) researchers from King’s College London, St George’s University of London and Imperial College all took part in research which took into account the pollutants nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5).
They looked at data from more than 130,000 people between the ages of 50 and 79, who lived within the surrounding areas of the M25 in Greater London and who did not have a diagnosis at the beginning of the study.
Participants were followed for 6.9 years to see if they developed dementia. More than 1% of people went on to be diagnosed with the condition.
Unfortunately it’s very difficult to avoid exposure to air pollution, especially if we live near busy roads or motorways.
There are lots of things you can do to help reduce dementia risk. Check out some of our blog posts below: