Better Air Quality Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2021 in Denver, several studies reported that improved air quality is associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of dementia. Similar studies were performed by researchers from the University of Southern California, University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with the French Three-City Study, and the University of Washington.Better Air Quality Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia

Researchers highlighted three key findings of these studies:

  • reduction of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and traffic-related pollutants (NO2) per 10% of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) current standard over 10 years was associated with 14% and 26% lower dementia risk, and slower cognitive decline, in senior U.S. women
  • reduction of PM2.5 concentration over 10 years was associated with a lower risk of dementia in French individuals by 15% and of Alzheimer's disease by 17% for every microgram of gaseous pollutant per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) decrease in PM2.5
  • long-term exposure to air pollutants was associated with higher beta-amyloid levels in the blood in a large U.S. cohort, demonstrating a possible biological link between air quality and physical brain changes defining Alzheimer's disease.

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