Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Air pollution linked to cognitive decline in women

Date:
February 13, 2012
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
A large, prospective study indicates that chronic exposure to particulate air pollution may accelerate cognitive decline in older adults.

A large, prospective study led by a researcher at Rush University Medical Center indicates that chronic exposure to particulate air pollution may accelerate cognitive decline in older adults. The results of the study will be published in the Feb. 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


In the study, women who were exposed to higher levels of ambient particulate matter (PM) over the long term experienced more decline in their cognitive functioning over a four-year period. Higher levels of long-term exposure to both coarse PM (PM2.5-10) and fine PM (PM2.5) were associated with significantly faster cognitive decline.

PM air pollution consists of small particles suspended in the air. Particles that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which is 1/30th the width of human hair, are called fine PM and particles larger than 2.5-10 microns is called coarse PM.

These associations were present at levels of PM exposure typical in many areas of the United States.

There are few recent studies that analyze air pollution and cognitive function in older adults, but this is the first study to examine change in cognitive function over a period of time and whether exposure to the size of particulate matter is important.

Jennifer Weuve, MPH., ScD, assistant professor of the Rush Institute of Healthy Aging and the principal investigator of the study, along with her colleagues, evaluated air pollution, both coarse and fine, in relation to cognitive decline in older women using a study population from the Nurses' Health Study Cognitive Cohort, which included 19,409 U.S. women ages 70 to 81 for a 14-year period going back as far as 1988.

"Our study explored chronic exposure to particulate air pollution in relation to decline in cognitive functioning among older women," said Weuve. "Very is little known about the role of particulate matter exposure and its association with cognitive decline."

Exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with cardiovascular risk, which itself may play a role in causing or accelerating cognitive decline.

"Unlike other factors that may be involved in dementia such as diet and physical activity, air pollution is something we can intervene on as a society at large through policy, regulation and technology," said Weuve.

"Therefore, if our findings are confirmed in other research, air pollution reduction is a potential means for reducing the future population burden of age-related cognitive decline, and eventually, dementia," said Weuve.

The studies were supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Jennifer Weuve, MPH, ScD, is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Rush Medical College and the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center.

Co-authors of the study include Robin Puett, MPH, PhD of University of Maryland School of Public Health, Joel Schwartz, PhD, and Francine Laden, MS, ScD, and Francine Grodstein, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, and Jeff Yanosky, MS, ScD of Penn State University College of Medicine.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Weuve, R. C. Puett, J. Schwartz, J. D. Yanosky, F. Laden, F. Grodstein. Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution and Cognitive Decline in Older Women. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012; 172 (3): 219 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.683

Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Air pollution linked to cognitive decline in women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185121.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2012, February 13). Air pollution linked to cognitive decline in women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185121.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Air pollution linked to cognitive decline in women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185121.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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