A new study led by USC researchers concluded that living in polluted areas increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes for overweight Latino children in urban Los Angeles.
Researchers studied over 300 children for an average of 3.4 years, none of whom had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes prior to the study. The children had annual physicals at USC or at the Los Angeles County hospital, where scientists measured their glucose and insulin levels.
None of the children developed type 2 diabetes after the study concluded. However, once subjects turned 18, they had higher blood insulin levels and many were marked as pre-diabetic.
According to the study, which was published last week in the journal Diabetes, socioeconomic status was also measured for participants. The scientists examined parents’ occupations and ranked their levels of education.
The study noted that the results may only be applicable to the specific group they studied — overweight Latino children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. In the future, researchers plan to broaden the study to participants who are not overweight.
Previous USC researchers have also found a link between air pollution and lung cancer survival time, cognitive impairment for the elderly and dementia in older women.