I. Introduction and Purpose
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a disorder in which the body is incapable of fully utilizing converted energy taken from food. There are three types of diabetes: type 1 or insulin-dependent, type 2 or adult on-set, and gestational diabetes (Webmd.com, 2014).
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2011 there were approximately 25.8 million cases of diabetes in the United States, 7 million of which were undiagnosed, and an estimated 79 million cases of prediabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2014). They also report that diagnosed cases of diabetes cost the United States nearly $250 billion in 2012 (American Diabetes Association, 2014). With such a high prevalence of cases as well as staggering associated costs, it is clear that research into diabetes risk factors and causes is warranted.
Diet and exercise have long been associated with diabetes risk, but recent studies are showing evidence that environmental factors, including air pollution, may play a role in the development of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. A medical review published in 2012 notes that “there are now at least six published epidemiologic studies showing some degree of association between [particulate matter](PM) or traffic-related air pollutants and [diabetes mellitus](DM). At least two other studies have demonstrated a relationship between ambient levels of air pollutants and markers of insulin sensitivity in humans… Though not all findings from every study were positive, taken together, the majority of observations support an association between air pollution, in particular traffic-related sources, and DM” (Rajagopalan & Brook, 2012).
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...t cause insulin resistance in hyperlipidemic mice. Circulation Research, 104 (8), pp. 961--968.
Sun, Q., Yue, P., Deiuliis, J. A., Lumeng, C. N., Kampfrath, T., Mikolaj, M. B., Cai, Y., Ostrowski, M. C., Lu, B., Parthasarathy, S. & Others (2009). Ambient air pollution exaggerates adipose inflammation and insulin resistance in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. Circulation, 119 (4), pp. 538--546.
Webmd.com. (2014). Diabetes Mellitus: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/types-of-diabetes-mellitus [Accessed: 15 Mar 2014].
Xu, X., Liu, C., Xu, Z., Tzan, K., Zhong, M., Wang, A., Lippmann, M., Chen, L., Rajagopalan, S. & Sun, Q. (2011). Long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate pollution induces insulin resistance and mitochondrial alteration in adipose tissue. Toxicological Sciences, 124 (1), pp. 88--98.
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