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Air Pollution Scare for the Old

Latest By Arka Roy Chowdhury , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Nov 17, 2012
Air Pollution Scare for the Old

Pollution in the air is causing people over 50 to age their brains by three years.

Air Pollution Scare for the Old

People over 50s are at the risk of aging their brains by three years due to higher levels of pollution in towns and cities; this has been suggested by a new research. Earlier researchers had blamed bad air to an increasing risk of heart and breathing problems, and now this has given rise to a decrease in the brain power of people above 50 years of age.


[Read: Pollution Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk]


The US based National Institute of Aging did a study involving 15,000 older adults, and found that fine air particulate matter may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced thought power. It was also found that if inhaled it is small enough to deposit in the brain and lungs.


What the scientists did was to study the impact of a minute air pollutant known as PM2.5 on the health of the participants. This air pollutant is produced by vehicle exhaust e missions, as well as gas boilers and heavy industry. They found that for every additional 10 micrograms of the pollutant in a cubic metre of air the drop in participants brain power was equivalent to three years of ageing. The alarming fact was that other factors, such as age, ethnicity, education, smoking behaviour, and respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, were taken into consideration.

Dr Jennifer Ailshire, from the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California said, “As a result of age-related declines in health and functioning, older adults are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of exposure to unhealthy air,”


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