Living Near a Busy Road Increases Dementia Risk
Risk factors for dementia include aging, family history, and genetics, as well as modifiable risks—factors that can be somewhat controlled—such as avoiding head trauma, controlling blood pressure, etc. Now, it seems living near a busy street can be added to the list of modifiable risk factors for dementia.
Canadian researchers looked at three neurological conditions—dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS)—and examined the effects living near a busy road had on developing these disorders. Previous studies had linked exposure to noise and pollution caused by traffic to negative effects on cognition.
For this study, researchers followed 6.6 million people between the ages of 20 and 85 for 10 years. Ninety-five percent of participants lived within about a half mile of a major road. During the study period, 243,611 cases of dementia, 31,577 cases of Parkinson’s disease, and 9,247 cases of MS were identified. According to researchers, 7 to 11 percent of dementia cases were attributable to major road proximity.
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