A study suggests that those who live near and frequently travel in “busy roads” are likely to be at risk of dementia. According to a Canadian research team, about 10% of dementia cases are from people living 50m of traffic.
Named “The Study In The Lancet,” the researchers followed two million people in Ontario, Canada from 2001 to 2012. The country had 243,611 dementia cases during the time and researchers found that those living closest to major roads could likely suffer from dementia in the future. Public Health Ontario and part of the research team who conducted the study Dr Hong Chen said population growth and “urbanisation” is likely to blame.
He connected widespread exposure to traffic to growing rates of dementia. He said future research that would build upon the study could focus on the other aspects of traffic including air pollutants and noise and its effects on the human brain.
UK researchers said the study may need more verification and another type of method to narrow down its results but agrees the research data and results are “plausible.” According to UK National Institute for Health Research Director For Dementia Research Professor Martin Rossor, the research is important because it helps prove that small effects of traffic and greatly-populated cities can have public health implications.
According to Centre for Dementia Director at Nottingham University Professor Tom Dening, the findings were interesting and “provocative.” He said it is plausible that air pollution could be a contributing factor chemical-wise to increasing the risk of dementia. The more people are exposed to air pollutants on a daily basis makes good logic on the risk associated with brain degeneration or deformity.