Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strong Statistical Correlation Between Prevalence Of Diabetes, Air Pollution

Date:
July 31, 2002
Source:
University At Buffalo
Summary:
A dramatic statistical correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and air pollution levels has been demonstrated by a University at Buffalo researcher who publishes his observations in the August issue of the journal, Diabetes Care.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A dramatic statistical correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and air pollution levels has been demonstrated by a University at Buffalo researcher who publishes his observations in the August issue of the journal, Diabetes Care.

The correlation appears in the "Letters: Observations" column of the journal in which researchers report information often as a way of suggesting areas in which further, rigorous studies should be done.

Alan Lockwood, M.D., professor of neurology and nuclear medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, and the author of the letter, stated that while the statistical analysis does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between diabetes and air pollution, the correlation is strong enough to warrant further research.

"The significance of this relationship demands attention," he said. "The correlation between the two was striking. The probability that these two variables are not related is approximately five chances in 100,000."

It's estimated that diabetes affects more than 15 million Americans, one-third of whom are undiagnosed. The cost of the disease has been put at more than $98 billion; with diabetes accounting for 1 out of every 7 health-care dollars spent in the U.S.

Lockwood compared data showing the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for each U.S. state with data showing the prevalence of diabetes in the states. He found a significant relationship between TRI emissions and the prevalence of diabetes. Some heavily industrialized states, such as Ohio, for example, had high levels of TRI emissions --147 million pounds of emissions -- and a high prevalence of diabetes -- 7.5 percent of the state's population. Conversely, states with low TRI emissions -- such as Alaska, which had 2.6 million pounds of emissions and 4.4 percent prevalence of diabetes -- showed a low prevalence of the disease.

Diabetes prevalence has risen substantially over the past 10 years, according to Lockwood's letter, which cites the 49 percent increase in the disease reported in the 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System published by the Centers for Disease Control. Many recent studies and reports have investigated the connection between the increase in obesity and the increase in the disease. In addition, Lockwood's letter notes, "environmental toxins, notably dioxins, also have been suggested as contributing factors.

"The nature of the relationship between air pollutants and diabetes remains to be determined, but there is a potentially plausible link," he said. "What may happen is that some pollutants, such as dioxins, are being concentrated in the fat of obese people and these then may contribute to the development of diabetes. That is the hypothesis."

Lockwood became interested in a possible correlation between diabetes and air pollution while examining the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a list of the discharge of air pollutants over certain levels that industry must report, and which are available on the Web site of the Environmental Protection Agency.

He was studying the TRI data as part of his duties as a member of the national group, Physicians for Social Responsibility. Lockwood chairs its committee on the environment and health.

Around the same time, he said he happened to read an article in The New York Times about the geographic distribution of diabetes in the U.S. The article was accompanied by a map that showed areas in the U.S. where the prevalence of the disease was highest in 2000.

"It occurred to me that the map in The Times looked a lot like the map of the TRI data," said Lockwood.

He then tracked down the source of the data in The Times map, which was the Journal of the American Medical Association; downloaded the 1999 TRI data off of the Environmental Protection Agency Web site, and plugged these data into a popular statistics software package.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University At Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University At Buffalo. "Strong Statistical Correlation Between Prevalence Of Diabetes, Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020731080856.htm>.
University At Buffalo. (2002, July 31). Strong Statistical Correlation Between Prevalence Of Diabetes, Air Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020731080856.htm
University At Buffalo. "Strong Statistical Correlation Between Prevalence Of Diabetes, Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020731080856.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins