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The Impact of Air Pollution on Hospitalization in Patients with Diabetes

Fine particulate matter air pollution correlated with increased cardiovascular, respiratory disease…

Current literature has shown that fine particulate matter air pollution is correlated with an increased risk for cardiovascular outcomes. The studies established an association with air pollution with double rates of hospital admission in patients with diabetes. A 10-month experimental study observed the effect on the exposure of fine particulate matter air pollution on mice. The study showed that the exposure was enough to cause insulin resistance and increased the type 2 diabetes occurrence. In Italy, evidences showed that increased air pollution is associated with mortality for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. There is lack of evidence on the effects of air pollution on patients with diabetes.

The aim of the study is to observe the relationship between standardized hospital discharges in Italian patients with diabetes and fine particulate matter air pollution. The study was designed as a cross-sectional study and recorded annual levels of fine particulate matter air pollution from 2008-2010. These levels were acquired hourly from all monitoring stations. The statistical analysis that were performed was log-linear multiple regression to model diabetes hospital discharge and fine particulate matter air pollution.

The results showed that diabetes hospitalizations increased with rising annual fine particulate matter air pollution concentrations, with a rise of 3.5 % (1.3 %–5.6 %) for men and of 4.0 % (1.5 %-6.4 %) for women per unit of fine particulate matter air pollution increase.

To conclude, this study showed a correlation between standardized hospital discharge with diabetes and average annual fine particulate matter air pollution concentrations in Italian patients.

Practice Pearls:

  • An increase in fine particulate matter air pollution may cause an increase in hospitalization in patients with diabetes.
  • Fine particulate matter air pollution has been associated with insulin resistance in mice.
  • Patients with diabetes should try to avoid areas with high ambient fine particulate matter air pollution.

Solimini AG, D’addario M, Villari P. “Ecological correlation between diabetes hospitalizations and fine particulate matter in Italian provinces.” BMC Public Health. 2015;15(1):708.