Studies have demonstrated a link between levels of air pollution and risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
However, the research included only small numbers of subjects or people living near large highways where pollution levels are particularly high.
In a study from Arizona State University, researcher Kelly Bishop and her colleagues obtained Medicare data from 6.9 million older individuals and cross-referenced it with air-quality data from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The researchers reported to the National Bureau of Economic Research that levels of a fine particulate pollutant known as PM2.5 were strongly linked to increased dementia rates.
Earlier studies have demonstrated an association between PM2.5 exposure and respiratory damage, cognitive impairment, emergency room visits, and death.
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