Publicado: Vie, Agosto 31, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Air pollution could be making us less intelligent

Air pollution could be making us less intelligent

"The negative impact of three-year accumulative exposure to air pollution for men's verbal test scores is 49% higher than that for women", Zhang, who is also a senior research fellow with the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said.

Researchers investigating the results of air pollution performed math and verbal tests over the direction of more than one years on more than 25,000 participants in 162 Chinese counties. Long-term exposure to air pollution could compound and exacerbate the natural deterioration of cognitive function, which is vital for elderly people in both day-to-day life and also in making high-stakes decisions.

He says that establishing a causal link between pollution exposure and cognitive decline is challenging: "I would say that it probably increases your risk - how much is hard to say".

Researchers said older men seemed to be especially susceptible to a drop in cognitive abilities.

"Our findings about the damaging effect of air pollution on cognition, particularly on the aging brain, imply that the indirect effect on social welfare could be much larger than previously thought".

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The study was conducted in China, with a sample size of almost 32,000 people over the age of 10, between 2010 and 2014.

While the study was carried out in China where air pollution is found at enormous levels, the findings are likely applicable to the whole world. It needs to realise that the deadly air pollution causes losses not only to the families concerned but also to the nation as it has serious implications for the national productivity, in particular. Folk with lower education ranges are inclined to expertise more wretchedness, Chen says, because they work outside more customarily and are exposed to greater ranges of pollution.

Above all, air pollution reduces liveablity of different cities, including the capital already ranked among the world's worst liveable cities for different reasons by different global agencies. It is alarming that more than 8,500 children die every year in the country from diseases caused by indoor air pollution.

Though, if air pollution does indeed cause a reduction in intelligence, the study still was not able to explain how this happened, apart from some strands of speculation about the pollution harming the brain's white matter. "So, even if the magnitude of impact might vary for the countries, there could be a similar impact on health", he said.

The authors point to the 98% of cities with more than 100,000 people in low- and middle-income countries that fail to meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines.

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