Living in a highly polluted area could increase a child’s risk for developing insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, Medical Daily reported.
Previous research has shown links between pollution exposure and certain health conditions, like heart disease. However, previous studies exploring the link between pollution and diabetes have produced mixed results.
In this new study, published in the journal Diabetologica, researchers examined blood samples taken from 387 10-year-old children. Researchers discovered the children living in areas with greater exposure to air pollution had significantly higher insulin levels than children living in lower-pollution areas.
The children’s exposure to pollution was estimated based on car emissions, population density and land use in the areas where the children lived, Medical Daily reported.
“The results of this study support the notion that the development of diabetes in adults might have its origin in early life, including environmental exposures," said co-author Joachim Heinrich in a statement.