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. 2014 Mar 11;9(3):e91639.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091639. eCollection 2014.

Is Particle Pollution in Outdoor Air Associated With Metabolic Control in Type 2 Diabetes?

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Is Particle Pollution in Outdoor Air Associated With Metabolic Control in Type 2 Diabetes?

Teresa Tamayo et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article


Background: There is growing evidence that air pollutants are associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Subclinical inflammation may be a mechanism linking air pollution with diabetes. Information is lacking whether air pollution also contributes to worse metabolic control in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. We examined the hypothesis that residential particulate matter (PM10) is associated with HbA1c concentration in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Nationwide regional levels of particulate matter with a diameter of ≤ 10 µm (PM10) were obtained in 2009 from background monitoring stations in Germany (Federal Environmental Agency) and assigned to place of residency of 9,102 newly diagnosed diabetes patients registered in the DPV database throughout Germany (age 65.5 ± 13.5 yrs; males: 52.1%). Mean HbA1c (%) levels stratified for air pollution quartiles (PM10 in µg/m(3)) were estimated using linear regression models adjusting for age, sex, BMI, diabetes duration, geographic region, year of ascertainment, and social indicators.

Findings: In both men and women, adjusted HbA1c was significantly lower in the lowest quartile of PM10 exposure in comparison to quartiles Q2-Q4. Largest differences in adjusted HbA1c (95% CI) were seen comparing lowest quartiles of exposure with highest quartiles (men %: -0.42 (-0.62; -0.23)/mmol/mol: -28.11 (-30.30; -26.04), women, %: -0.28 (-0.47; -0.09)/mmol/mol: -0.28 (-0.47; -0.09)).

Interpretation: Air pollution may be associated with higher HbA1c levels in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients. Further studies are warranted to examine this association.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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Data are part of the BMBF Diabetes Meta-Database project which was funded by the Competence Network for Diabetes mellitus of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (support codes 01GI1110D/01GI1106). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.