Aims: To investigate whether an indicator of overall traffic intensity is related to the risk of Type 2 diabetes in a nationwide cohort.
Methods: The study population comprised 3604 adults aged 18-79 years and without diabetes from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey (GNHIES98, 1997-1999) who participated again in a follow-up survey (DEGS1, 2008-2011). The association between the participants' reported traffic intensity at their residential address and Type 2 diabetes incidence was examined using logistic regression models.
Results: During a mean of 12.1 years of follow-up, 252 of the participants included in the study developed Type 2 diabetes. Compared with people living in traffic-calmed areas, odds ratios were 1.15 (95% CI 0.80-1.67) for people living on moderately busy side streets, 1.11 (95% CI 0.69-1.80) for people living on considerably busy side streets, 1.41 (95% CI 0.96-2.08) for people living on heavily busy roads, and 1.97 (95% CI 1.07-3.64) for people living on extremely busy roads, after adjusting for age, sex, active and passive smoking, type of heating, education, BMI, waist circumference, sport activity and parental diabetes history.
Conclusions: The twofold higher risk of Type 2 diabetes observed for people exposed to intense traffic in this nationwide cohort extends the limited evidence from previous selected populations. Although the underlying traffic-related components and their biological mechanisms still need to be unravelled, traffic exposure control should be considered in public health strategies to reduce the global burden of diabetes.
© 2014 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2014 Diabetes UK.