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Air Pollution Linked to Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-11-13 10:05:16

Air pollution has been linked to weakening of bones []:

Poor air quality may be a modifiable risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially among people living in low-income communities, according to a newly published analysis of data from two independent studies.

In one study researchers documented higher rates of hospital admissions for bone fractures in communities exposed to elevated levels of ambient particulate matter (PM2·5) air pollution in an analysis of data on more than nine million Medicare enrollees.

In another 8-year follow-up of approximately 700 middle-age, low-income adults participating in a bone health study, participants living in areas with relatively high levels of PM2·5 and black carbon vehicle emissions had lower levels of a key calcium and bone-related hormone and greater decreases in bone mineral density than participants exposed to lower levels of these air pollutants.

All associations were linear and observed -- at least for part of the PM2·5 distribution -- at PM2·5 concentrations below the annual average limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (12 μg/m3) and most other industrialized nations.

[...] The researchers acknowledged multiple limitations in both studies, which limit the ability to establish causality. But in an editorial [] [open, DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30143-2] [DX []] published with the studies, Tuan Nguyen, PhD, of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales, Australia, wrote that the studies are just the latest in a growing body of research linking air pollution exposure to osteoporosis: "Osteoporosis and its consequence of fragility fracture represent one of the most important public health problems worldwide because fracture is associated with increased mortality."

Association of air particulate pollution with bone loss over time and bone fracture risk: analysis of data from two independent studies [] (open, DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30136-5) (DX [])

Related: 80 Percent of World's City Dwellers Breathing Bad Air: UN []
Study Links Pregnant Women's Exposure to Air Pollution to Shorter Telomeres in Babies []
Lancet Report Says Pollution Caused 9 Million Premature Deaths in 2015 []

Original Submission