Health condition affecting older Aussies linked to air pollution

As smoke from bushfires shrouds our cities, scientists have made a worrying discovery.

Air pollution can worsen bone health

As smoke from bushfires shrouds our cities, scientists have made a worrying discovery.

While some of the effects of air pollution, such as lung cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases are well known, a new study has found an association between exposure to air pollution and poor bone health.

Osteoporosis 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 ageing populations.

The new study, which was conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, analysed the association between air pollution and bone health in more than 3700 people from 28 villages outside the city of Hyderabad, in southern India.

The authors used a locally developed model to estimate outdoor exposure at residence to air pollution by fine particulate matter and black carbon.

The participants also filled out a questionnaire on the type of fuel used for cooking.

The authors linked this information with bone health by 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 results 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.

“This study contributes to the limited and inconclusive literature on air pollution and bone health,” explains ISGlobal researcher Otavio Ranzani.

Regarding the possible mechanisms underlying this association, he says “inhalation of polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss through the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by air pollution”.

“Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that indicates particulate air pollution is relevant for bone health across a wide range of air pollution levels, including levels found in high income and low- and medium-income countries,” says Cathryn Tonne, coordinator of the study.

Have you been struggling with the air quality in your area? Are you worried about the long-term health effects of inhaling bushfire smoke?

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    COMMENTS

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    Horace Cope
    9th Jan 2020
    11:49am
    Ben, do we really need this sort of reporting? Sure, we're presently going through a difficult time with a smoke problem evident but the study on the link between pollution and osteoporosis discloses that the study was done where the ambient atmosphere had high pollution. Ambient refers to the normal state of an area in this context whereas in Australia the ambient state is one of clean, fresh air.
    KSS
    9th Jan 2020
    1:02pm
    And it doesn't say over what period of time you need the exposure for it to have an effect on bone density either. It is highly unlikely that any association would be evident in Australia even under current exposure levels due to fires.

    And is it really necessary to stae yet again that 'association' or correlation is NOT causation!
    adbob
    9th Jan 2020
    11:58am
    Diesel fume pollution has increased as a result of an earlier "science"-backed encouragement for motorists to switch from petrol (as we call it) to diesel in order to (you guessed it) help to fight man-made global warming, which should by now, according to earlier alarmist predictions, have wiped us all out. Needless to say it hasn't.

    Stuttgart (Germany's Detroit) has introduced restrictions limiting diesel vehicle use to those (more modern ones) with a certain EU certification - which we now know is fudged anyway
    - some other cities are comtemplating a total ban.
    Neil
    9th Jan 2020
    12:30pm
    Ben you are getting carried away with Climate Change . My story started farming age 11 . . Those were the days you prepared the paddock in early Sept until sowing the crop around may next year . Was days when the wind was behind you the dust was so bad you had to stop to see where you are going likewise when harvesting the dust from back of header was as bad . We had dust storms many times in the summer months and the temp was up around 110 plus day after day .No A/C sleep outside because you had a wood stove inside the house to cook on . No fridge . This Climate Change is being blamed for every thing now We are told the sea level is rising well I have a reply back from B.O.M and the sea level up less then 1 eight inch over the last 20 years and according to the person I have spoken to at Fort Denison he says infact sea level has dropped . So who is telling the truth ?
    Go over to China are they die early age because the air over there is twice as bad ?
    I have gone out of my way . Asked Head Office B.O.M about temp and then the local B.O.M and got different reply . Very interesting don,t you think ????
    Anonymous
    9th Jan 2020
    11:54pm
    It is to be noted how the YLC email introduced this topic as a disease caused by Climate Change, yet the entire article above doesn't mention these words! It just shows how confused people get, and how research is taken out of context to spread the hoax of Climate Change causing everything! Yes, one cannot even believe so many stories being put out, as scientists are being put under pressure, and misquoted, to create false narratives. Reminds one of the the Emperor's New Clothes story by Hans Christian Andersen!

    No doubt pollution causes many diseases, and no doubt the Climate always keeps changing. But to claim Climate Change is causing this or that issue, and to then say humans are causing it, and further that humans can fix it, is the biggest joke going around. Especially when people get excited and even suggest little old Australia can fix anything!
    floss
    9th Jan 2020
    1:05pm
    There is no need to worry our P.M. SAID THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS CLIMATE CHANGE.don't you people trust him.
    Retiring Well
    9th Jan 2020
    3:38pm
    Climate change has been around since the earth was formed and without it we would not have evolved. So it's a natural part of the earth cycles and to even think man can change it then you are just part of another cult.
    Triss
    9th Jan 2020
    4:07pm
    Have to agree with you, BigBear. 14th century, which isn't actually that long ago, to the mid-19th century, the world had what has been called a Little Ice Age and glaciers increased in many areas of the world. Maybe the melting glaciers we have now are just taking us back to before the Little Ice Age...about 1C or 1.5C warmer than now. Everyone seemed to flourish.
    Rocky2
    9th Jan 2020
    2:42pm
    Climate change is a Hoax, as the standard line for referencing all climate changes is moving from day to day depending on how much a person can get out of our government to report what is a natural change in the way our world manages its self. All the predictions on climate over the past years have not been proven, get of the Hoax that is called climate change
    Retiring Well
    9th Jan 2020
    3:36pm
    I agree.

    We had very similar conditions about 120 years ago that we have today. Just the natural cycle of the world's weather patterns.
    Horace Cope
    9th Jan 2020
    5:25pm
    Climate change is not a hoax Rocky2, what is a hoax is the notion that man can change things. People get confused between climate and weather, climate is measured in 15 year cycles whereas weather is measured season to season.
    Anonymous
    10th Jan 2020
    12:06am
    Have to agree with Horace, some people (including that 16 year old girl) need to go back to school and learn the difference between Climate and Weather. Also, no fires are caused by temperatures rising by 1.5degrees, in fact it regularly changes by 20-30 degrees due to seasonal changes every year without any problem - until someone lights up fires.

    They need to spend more money on catching arsonists and put them into jails not give them a slap on the wrist, and we will see a dramatic reduction in bush fires. Add a fleet of Aerial Water Bombers to knock out the rest of the fires, and the jobs's nearly done! Our great Firies will do the rest easily. PM and Premiers to wake up - these recommendations are available now without cost, without any need for a Royal Commission!
    Rocky2
    9th Jan 2020
    2:42pm
    Climate change is a Hoax, as the standard line for referencing all climate changes is moving from day to day depending on how much a person can get out of our government to report what is a natural change in the way our world manages its self. All the predictions on climate over the past years have not been proven, get of the Hoax that is called climate change
    Incognito
    10th Jan 2020
    12:33am
    Well the climate change deniers hijacked this article. I really think the study is too small to warrant a connection of air pollution and osteo, might just be that these people in Indian villages lack certain nutrients in their diet, yes nothing to do with climate change here, so why bring it up here again.
    adbob
    10th Jan 2020
    6:07am
    Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JIuKjaY3r4 (at 4:49) is Al Gore's famous pair of graphs where he gets up on a raisable platform to show the current elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere (0/04%) and suggest that temperatures are bound to follow, as they did in th east - actualy the lead-follow relationship was the other way around and there was no industry to generate it anyway but let's not let facts get in the way of agood scare story - there's money to be made - careers to be advanced.

    Obviously we have now lived throuhg the predicted period and nothing remotely like that has happened. In fact climate change has followed the rather mundane predictions of the real climatologists - mild - not many affected - thoses that are should prepare as it can't be changed.

    The bigger problem comes later when the earth (or planet as they call it), still with its elevated populations to be fed, starts to cool and food production falls.
    adbob
    10th Jan 2020
    6:14am
    "th east" should read "the past".


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