Air pollution could cause great metabolic harm for humans like alterations in glucose clearance, insulin responsiveness and hepatic cholesterol.
Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of chronic diseases and premature death in the world today. According to WHO (World Health Organization), in the year 2016, ambient air pollution was responsible for 4.2 million deaths. Worldwide, ambient air pollution is estimated to cause about 16% of the lung cancer deaths, 25% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, about 17% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and about 26% of respiratory infection deaths.
Particulate matter pollution is an environmental health problem that affects people worldwide, but low- and middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden.
In particular, particulate matter <2.5 micron (PM2.5) component of air pollution is responsible for the development of risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension and insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Although the mechanisms by which inhalation of PM2.5 induces IR and T2DM remain unclear, a constellation of responses including inflammation, and redox stress, have been implicated.
An american study showed that PM2.5 exposure results in great metabolic harm for humans like alterations in glucose clearance compared to non-polluted air (filtered air). Insulin responsiveness could be affected also by PM2.5 exposure. It could also reduce Respiratory Quotient at nighttime. These results are particularly noticed for males.
According to the research pattern and modeling, PM2.5 exposure caused significant increase in hepatic cholesterol.
In addition to established effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems, recent epidemiological studies showed associations between air pollutants and impacts on the central nervous system such as depression and impaired cognitive ability.
Although the relative risk attributed to air pollution is still small compared with established risk factors, the widespread exposure of the population translates into a substantial societal health burden.