Pesticide Exposure Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk

Living in an environment where you are exposed to pesticides can increase your risk for diabetes, according to new research.

At the annual meeting for the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, researchers presented findings from a meta-analysis on 21 studies, revealing that exposure to pesticides was linked to a 61-percent increased risk of developing diabetes.

"Emerging evidence suggests that environmental contaminants--including pesticides--may play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes," a press release on the research stated.

Certain pesticides more harmful than others

Different types of pesticides were associated with varying levels of risk, the authors noted, and the link between exposure and both types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2 - was studied.

In the studies that examined pesticide exposure and type 2 diabetes, the increased risk was 64 percent, while the increased risk for any type of diabetes in those exposed to pesticides was 61 percent.

Certain individual pesticides - including chlordane, oxylchlordane, trans-nonachlor, DDT, DDE dieldrin, heptachlor and HCB - were linked to an increased risk for diabetes. While some of these pesticides have been banned in the U.S., they can linger in groundwater or soil and may take years to decompose.

A 2008 study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found similar results - that specific pesticides were linked to increased diabetes risk, but also that cumulative, ongoing exposure over one's lifetime poses a greater risk for health problems than recent or sporadic exposure.

"Analyzing each pesticide separately suggests that some pesticides are more likely to contribute to the development of diabetes than others," the authors said.

Source: Science Daily,
NIEHS, Global Healing Center

Image courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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