Poor air quality is a risk factor for bone fractures and osteoporosis, said a Lancet study
GN Bureau | November 11, 2017
A Lancet study, which comes at a time when Delhi is struggling with thick smog, has shown that air pollution is linked to weaker bones and bone fracture risk
The study “Association of air particulate pollution with bone loss over time and bone fracture risk: analysis of data from two independent studies” said that air particulate matter is a ubiquitous environmental exposure associated with oxidation, inflammation, and age-related chronic disease.
“In the Medicare analysis, risk of bone fracture admissions at osteoporosis-related sites was greater in areas with higher PM2·5 concentrations. This risk was particularly high among low-income communities.
“In the longitudinal BACH/Bone study, baseline black carbon and PM2·5 concentrations were associated with lower serum parathyroid hormone in the 1-year average of black carbon concentrations…Black carbon concentration was associated with higher bone mineral density loss over time at multiple anatomical sites, including femoral neck and ultradistal radius,” said the study.
The study said: “Our results suggest that poor air quality is a modifiable risk factor for bone fractures and osteoporosis, especially in low-income communities.”
It noted that air particles might, directly or indirectly, impact bone biology and increase bone mineral loss. Air pollution particles have high potential to cause systemic oxidative damage34 and inflammation, both of which are established mechanisms for bone demineralisation and osteoporosis.
Smog in Delhi has left people worried about their health. The situation is particularly difficult for those who were already suffering from breathing problem. Many have purchased masks to ensure that they do not breath in the toxic mix of smoke and fog.
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