Polluted Air Linked to Higher Likelihood of Dementia

By Gary Cutlack on at

British researchers trying to isolate potential triggers for dementia have discovered a grim connection between living in the country's most polluted spots and developing the condition, with people who breathe in the dirtiest air pockets seeing their risk of dementia rising by 40 per cent.

That's according to cases studied by a team from King's College London, which studied data generated by the health records of 131,000 Londoners over the age of 50. There's a double air quality danger in the numbers too, as they found a 20 per cent increase in the risk of developing the condition in people surrounded by the highest concentration of fine particulate matter rated at PM2.5, with that 40 per cent risk increase for those in parts of the city with the most off-the-scale NO2 levels.

The sort of good news from KCL's environmental issues professor author Frank Kelly is that air pollution only increases the risk of developing dementia and isn't actually a trigger or cause of the condition, although he warns that low air quality is likely to be linked with exacerbating many other illnesses in the future too. [The Times]

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