Air pollution again linked to dementia and stroke

A study looking at the health of more than 413,000 people taking part in the UK Biobank project has reiterated the link between air pollution, brain ill-health and dementia. 

Participants were between 40 and 69 years old and free of dementia, cancer or stroke at the start of the study. Their health was tracked, focusing on the association between air pollution and the transition from being healthy to having a stroke, dementia or both. Data was also collected on their lifestyles, including smoking, exercise, alcohol consumption and diet, as well as their socioeconomic status. 

A member of the study team, Prof Frank Kelly from Imperial College London, said:  

“These new findings help to clarify how air pollution plays an important role in the dynamic transitions of stroke and dementia, even at concentrations below the UK’s current air quality standards.
The target for particle pollution under the Environment Act is twice the World Health Organization guideline and is set to be achieved by 2040. Not meeting the WHO guideline as soon as possible means that thousands more people are on the path to developing serious illness such as stroke and dementia simply because they are unable to breathe clean air.” 

You can read more about the study here: www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(23)00545-X/fulltext