Risk of Dementia Higher in People Living Near Major Roads

Admin | Published 2017-01-05 20:09

A new study finds that people living in major roads where air pollution and noisy traffic are rampant, may be prone to develop brain decline in a faster rate.

Last year, it was found that dementia in the US has shown a gradual decline. However, we must not halt any efforts to study the risks surrounding neurogenerative diseases. Researchers from Canada looked at the cases of dementia in an unusual angle. What they found suggests that people who live in major roads have higher rates of dementia. The study also finds that traffic may be linked to the 11 percent of dementia cases living within 50 meter of a major road. The researchers who published their study in The Lancet, followed almost 2 million people in Canada between 2001 and 2012.

Photo by Karen Beate Nøsterud

Their findings showed that in the 243,611 cases of dementia diagnosed during that time, the risk was surprisingly high in those living closest to the major roads. There was a pattern in the result of their findings. The farther the subjects were living from the major road, their overall number declined.
  • 7% higher within 50m
  • 4% higher between 50-100m
  • 2% higher between 101-200m
The data is already adjusted to other risk factors that could affect the result like risk factors like poverty, obesity, education levels and smoking. Major roads are the best location to inhale polluted air and the traffic made it worst. "Increasing population growth and urbanization have placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden," said Dr Hong Chen, from Public Health Ontario and one of the authors of the study. The researchers agree that more research is needed to better understand the link of the effect of air and noise pollution to brain health decline. See: Welders Exposed to Manganese Fumes May Develop Neurological Problems
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