Air Pollution and Fasting Blood Glucose: A Longitudinal Study in China

Sci Total Environ. 2016 Jan 15;541:750-755. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.132. Epub 2015 Oct 2.


Limited studies have examined the associations between air pollutants [particles with diameters of 10 μm or less (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)] and fasting blood glucose (FBG). We collected data for 27,685 participants who were followed during 2006 and 2008. Generalized Estimating Equation models were used to examine the effects of air pollutants on FBG while controlling for potential confounders. We found that increased exposure to NO2, SO2 and PM10 was significantly associated with increased FBG levels in single pollutant models (p<0.001). For exposure to 4 days' average of concentrations, a 100 μg/m(3) increase in SO2, NO2, and PM10 was associated with 0.17 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.15-0.19), 0.53 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.42-0.65), and 0.11 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.07-0.15) increase in FBG, respectively. In the multi-pollutant models, the effects of SO2 were enhanced, while the effects of NO2 and PM10 were alleviated. The effects of air pollutants on FBG were stronger in female, elderly, and overweight people than in male, young and underweight people. In conclusion, the findings suggest that air pollution increases the levels of FBG. Vulnerable people should pay more attention on highly polluted days to prevent air pollution-related health issues.

Keywords: Air pollution; Cohort study; Diabetes; Fasting Blood Glucose; Nitrogen dioxide; Particles; Sulphur dioxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Glucose / physiology*
  • China
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Particulate Matter
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Particulate Matter
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide