Women with diabetes who are exposed to air pollution for long period may have a much higher risk for heart disease, says a new study.
“Our study is one of the first to demonstrate high risks of cardiovascular disease among individuals with diabetes with long-term exposures to particulate matter,” said study lead author Jaime Hart from Harvard Medical School in Boston.
The study involved 114,537 women with an average age 64. During the follow-up in 1989-2006, researchers recorded incidences of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and strokes.
The researchers calculated the impacts of different sizes of particulate matter (PM) air pollution created from combustion from cars, power plants, and road dust and other sources.
While all women had small increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with more air pollution exposure, the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke among women with diabetes for each 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air was increased.
“It is important to identify these subgroups, so that pollution standards can be developed that protect them,” Hart said.