November 9, 2017
Adults, particularly those with a low income and aged at least 65 years, have an increased risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis-related loss of bone mineral density with long-term exposure to air pollution, according to findings published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
“In the United States, about 2.1 million osteoporosis-related bone fractures are reported each years, resulting in as much as $20.3 billion in annual direct health costs,” Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair and Leon Hess professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, told Endocrine Today. “Not only that, but within 1 year of a bone fracture, the risk of death for older individuals increased by 10% to 20% with only 40% regaining full pre-fracture independence. When I started to study air pollution 10 years ago, all we knew was that it affected the lungs and the cardiovascular systems. Now we are realizing there is much more to it.”