Air Pollution Accelerates Worsening Of Bone Health.
Although some of the effects of air pollution
on health are well documented ie lung cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, and a long etcetera, but for many others there is less scientific evidence. Such is the case of bone health
: there are only a few studies and results are inconclusive. Now, a study in India led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found an association between exposure to air pollution
and poor bone health
is a disease in which the density and quality of the bone
is reduced. Globally, it is responsible for a substantial burden of disease and its prevalence is expected to increase due to aging of the population.
The research study performed by the CHAI Project, led by ISGlobal and published in Jama Network Open
, analyzed the association between air pollution
and bone health
in over 3,700 people from 28 villages outside the city of Hyberabad, in southern India.
The researchers used a locally developed model to estimate outdoor exposure at residence to air pollution
by fine particulate matter (suspended particles with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less) and black carbon. The participants also filled a questionnaire on the type of fuel used for cooking. The authors linked this information with bone health
assessed using a special type of radiography that measures bone
density, called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and measured bone
mass at the lumbar spine and the left hip.
The study findings showed that exposure to ambient air pollution
, particularly to fine particles, was associated with lower levels of bone
mass. No correlation was found with use of biomass fuel for cooking.
Dr Otavio T. Ranzani, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study told Thailand Medical
News, "This study contributes to the limited and inconclusive literature on air pollution
and bone health
. Inhalation of polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss through the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by air pollution
In the study, annual average exposure to ambient PM2.5 was 32.8 μg/m3
, far above the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (10 μg/m3
). Also, 58 percent of participants used biomass fuel for cooking.
Dr Cathryn Tonne, coordinator of the study and of the CHAI project added, "Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that indicates that particulate air pollution
is relevant for bone health
across a wide range of air pollution
levels, including levels fo
und in high income and low-and medium income countries."
Reference: Association of Ambient and Household Air Pollution With Bone Mineral Content Among Adults in Peri-urban South India, Otavio T. Ranzani, MD, PhD1; Carles Milà, MSc1; Bharati Kulkarni, MD, PhD2; et alSanjay Kinra, MD, PhD3; Cathryn Tonne, MPH, ScD1 JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(1):e1918504. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.18504