Chemical Exposures Could Explain Diabetes Risk Disparities

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in everyday items and left over from industrial and pesticide use could explain the higher rates of diabetes found in some ethnic groups. A new review study from the University of Illinois at Chicago points to chemicals commonly found in common everyday items could raise diabetes risks, especially in vulnerable populations.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, pointed towards the higher rates of diabetes in African American and Latino populations and their generally higher exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

The underlying reasons for the higher rates of diabetes in these ethnic populations is still not well understood.

"We provide evidence that higher exposure to diabetogenic pollutants is an important contributor," write the paper's authors. "Although further work is required to validate the [endocrine-disrupting chemicals]–diabetes link and better quantify exposure disparities, current evidence suggests that improvements in environmental health could reduce diabetes risk and disparities."

The authors suggest that doctors and healthcare providers should consider exposures to these chemicals and advise patients on reducing those exposures.

The research was based on a review of studies published between 1996 and 2016 through the U.S. National Library of Medicine. A total of 27 prospective studies were found that linked endocrine-disruptors and diabetes risks. These included some chemicals that have been banned in the United States for decades, but which persist in the environment, especially in former industrial areas that were heavily exposed.

Source: Medscape.com

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