"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Living in areas with high levels of pollution increases the danger of breast cancer, in keeping with a study

September 12, 2023 – New research links living in areas with high air pollution to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Women whose homes were positioned in areas with high levels of air pollution had an 8% higher risk of developing the disease than women who lived in areas with lower levels of pollution. Results published on Monday in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Although this is a relatively modest increase, these results are significant because air pollution is a ubiquitous burden that affects almost everyone,” said study writer Alexandra White, PhD, an environmental and cancer expert on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, in a opinion“These findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that air pollution is linked to breast cancer.”

In the mid-Nineteen Nineties, greater than 500,000 people were recruited. Study participants were men and girls who were members of the American Association of Retired Persons (now AARP) and lived in considered one of six states or two metropolitan areas. The states were California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and the cities of Atlanta and Detroit. They accomplished follow-up questionnaires in 2004 and 2005.

During the 20-year remark period, 15,780 cases of breast cancer occurred amongst nearly 200,000 women who had never had breast cancer before. The researchers analyzed the air pollution the ladies were exposed to within the 10 to fifteen years before they participated within the study, using national data on air quality near their homes.

In particular, the researchers checked out a style of air pollution called positive particulate matter, a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets within the air. Fine particulate matter will be grouped by particle size, and for the study, the researchers focused on PM2.5 pollution, which is so small it will probably be inhaled deep into the lungs. Sources of PM2.5 pollution include automobile exhaust, the burning of coal or oil, wood smoke and industrial exhaust, in keeping with the authors.

The study also showed that exposure to high levels of positive particulate matter was significantly related to a style of breast cancer called hormone-positive breast cancer. The researchers said their data couldn’t indicate increased risk levels based on an individual's geographic area of ​​residence, but their results showed that this may very well be a very important area for future studies.

One limitation of the study is that the majority of the ladies included of their evaluation were older and postmenopausal, the authors identified.

About 240,000 women and a couple of,100 men within the United States develop breast cancer annually, in keeping with the CDC.