Nav: Home

Cut exposure to synthetic chemicals to ward off 150,000+ European diabetes cases

October 26, 2016

Cutting exposure to common environmental synthetic chemicals by 25 per cent might ward off more than 150,000 cases of diabetes in Europe and save €4.5 billion every year, suggest estimates published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

A mounting body of evidence suggests that environmental 'pollutants,' such as phthalates (plasticisers), pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs for short (used in coolant fluids in fridges and other electrical apparatus) contribute to metabolic disorders--particularly obesity and diabetes--by disrupting the production and regulation of hormones in the body.

In a bid to quantify the potential contribution of these 'endocrine disruptors' to new cases of type 2 diabetes in Europe and the associated costs, the researchers used data from the Swedish Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors Study (PIVUS).

This study examined the exposure of more than a thousand 70-75 year olds living in the city of Uppsala to phthalates; dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (pesticide); PCBs; and perfluoroalkyl substances (used in a wide range of consumer products from textiles and carpets to cleaning agents and paper baking moulds/liners) in blood samples.

The researchers estimated the number of cases of diabetes among this age group using European prevalence data and relevant Swedish population data and calculated annual treatment costs (2010 figures) aggregated over a period of 10 years.

They then estimated the impact of a 25% reduction in exposure to four compounds (PCB 153; monoethylphthalate, diclorophenyldichloroethylene, and perfluorononanoic acid), taking account of other potentially influential factors: sex, weight (BMI), physical activity levels, daily calorie and alcohol intake.

They used all this information to come up with a population attributable fraction (PAF)--an estimate of the theoretical effects of a risk factor at a population, rather than an individual, level--for a 25% reduction in exposure to all four compounds and in BMI.

Their calculations showed that if BMI were to fall by 25% this would translate into a 40% reduction in the prevalence of diabetes among this age group in Europe, representing 469,172 fewer cases and annual savings of €13.9 billion.

Although much smaller, a 25% reduction in exposure to each of the four synthetic chemicals would nevertheless be associated with a 13% fall in prevalent diabetes among 70-75 year olds, the calculations show.

And it could potentially mean 152,481 fewer annual cases of diabetes with associated savings of €4.51 billion every year.

The researchers admit that some might question the application of relatively limited data to estimate such figures, but emphasise that several other groups of researchers have linked certain chemicals to a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"Our findings also speak to the need for a strong regulatory framework that proactively identifies chemical hazards before they are widely used, and the use of safer alternatives," they write..."In the absence of such a framework, newly developed synthetic chemicals may emerge as diabetogenic exposures, replacing banned or substituted hazards as contributors."


Related Diabetes Articles:

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.
People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.
Diabetes, but not diabetes drug, linked to poor pregnancy outcomes
New research indicates that pregnant women with pre-gestational diabetes who take metformin are at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes -- such as major birth defects and pregnancy loss -- than the general population, but their increased risk is not due to metformin but diabetes.
New oral diabetes drug shows promise in phase 3 trial for patients with type 1 diabetes
A University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus study finds sotagliflozin helps control glucose and reduces the need for insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
More Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab