A new study carried out by German researchers reveals that children who live in areas that have higher levels of air pollution develop insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, by the time they are 10 years old.
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich carried out the study in 397 children under 10 years of age and analyzed their blood samples and calculated their average exposure to pollution from exhaust fumes of vehicles.
The researchers found that children who lived in areas that had higher levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide were more likely to develop insulin resistance compared to others.
"Whether the air pollution-related increased risk for insulin resistance in school-age has any clinical significance is an open question so far. However, 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", lead researcher Dr Joachim Heinrich said.