A new research has studied about the link between quality of environment in nearly 3000 US counties and intriguing differences has been found between the rural and the urban areas.
It is estimated that nearly 30 million US people are suffering from type2 diabetes and about 84 million are having prediabetes. Complications arising from diabetes are a major cause leading to adult blindness, amputations and kidney failure. There has been a 4.8% rise in type2 diabetes every year in US over the period 2002-2012. Insufficient exercise and diet contributes mainly to this trend. The new research tries to find out the role of environmental factors in the rural and the urban areas in this regard.
As part of the research, people from 3,134 different counties across US have been examined by Dr. JyotsnaJagai, the first author of the study and her team. To measure the cumulative effects of environment on the risk of type 2 diabetes, an Environmental Quality Index was developed by them. Data on air, land and water quality was included along with sociodemographic factors. The EQI also contained factors like number of fast food restaurants, number of fatal accidents and number of roadways, highways and public housing. The study co-author, Dr. Robert Sargis said that there is uniqueness in the cumulative assessment of EQI and they were trying to find out how single chemicals or the single classes of these chemicals could affect the risk of developing the disease.
The results of the study suggested that a poor quality of environment lead to a higher prevalence of the disease. In case of rural areas, poor quality of air, built as well as sociodemographic factors contributed to a high risk of diabetes. However in case of urban areas, only air quality and the sociodemographic factors were associated with the risk. Previous studies have found that the risk of diabetes was higher in urban areas and this study confirms this finding.