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  • Noise and Air Pollution May Increase the Risk of Dementia


    If you live in New England, and more importantly reside in either Rhode Island or Southeastern Massachusetts, it’s likely you call a city ‘home’. We’re flanked on all sides by industry, multi-family housing units, and an average of one vehicle for every two residents. That’s a lot of exhaust fumes, radios blaring and roadwork machinery to absorb!

    In a recently published peer reviewed study featured in ‘BMJ Open’, a leading medical journal, some startling assertions are being made which link where we live to our risk of developing Dementia. The study states “ More recently research has also extended to the role of environmental risk factors and dementia, where a large systematic review identified moderate evidence for an association with eight different factors including air pollution. While air pollution is a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory disease, its role in relation to dementia is less well considered and understood. A recent systematic review of the epidemiological evidence linking air pollution to dementia-related outcomes identified 18 studies, with most reporting adverse associations. However, there was a significant variation in the size and quality of the studies involved, reiterating the noted lack of robust longitudinal or population-based studies. Subsequently, a large population-based study in Ontario, Canada, reported that living close to major roads was associated with a higher incidence of dementia, with a further analysis revealing corresponding associations with modelled levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and mass of fine particulate matter with a median aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5)

    In lay terms, evidence points to the closer one lives to busy roadways, the greater the risk. In modern times, while some folks are eschewing the urban landscape in favor of a rural setting, for many it just is not possible. Whether it is due to financial constraints, family, work, or school we find we’re often tied to our ancestral homes.

    So what is a person to do? If you can’t remove yourself from a toxin rich environment, perhaps removing some of the toxins from yours may help. There’s a number of effective and inexpensive air purifiers on the market which can accommodate all budgets. Talk to your health professional to learn additional tips which can ensure you remain vital and healthy for as long as possible.

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