'Noise' Pollution May Increase Inflammation in Diabetics

People who have diabetes and also live near high-traffic roads may have an increased risk for inflammation, according to a new study.

The good news is that taking oral diabetes medications, like metformin, might mitigate this risk.

Researchers found that concentrations of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker, was higher in diabetics taking insulin who were exposed to "traffic pollution" than in diabetics taking insulin who lived is less-noisy areas.

"People on insulin appear to be even more susceptible to increases in inflammation when living in high traffic areas," said Dr. Christine Rioux, study author and research assistant professor in the department of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Reducing exposure is key

The researchers aren't sure why people taking oral diabetes medications may experience protective benefits against inflammation, but more studies on traffic pollution exposure and adverse health effects are needed, they said.

A study published last year in Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to traffic noise was linked to a higher diabetes risk.

Closing windows and doors during peak traffic times and using noise-blocking appliances like fans and air conditioners may be a solution for people living in high-traffic areas.

"This study is important because many people who live near highways may have diabetes and other serious chronic conditions," said co-author Mkaya Mwamburi, M.D. "It's interesting to see that treatments for diabetes may interact with the risks associated with exposure to air pollution."

Source: Science Daily

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