January 30th, 2010
A Canadian newspaper, The Dominion, reports on growing evidence that diabetes, especially among Indigenous people, may be linked to environmental pollutants, according to U.S. and Canadian research.
One-out-of-four indigenous adults living on reserves in Canada have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
According to the paper, more than a dozen published studies show a diabetes link to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, or dioxins and synthetic pesticides such as DDT.
Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory says there are 212 indigenous communities in Canada living near or downstream from pulp mills and other facilities that produce dioxins and furans.
In 2006, Dr. Dae-Hee Lee and colleagues found people with the highest rate of exposure to persistent organic pollutants were roughly 38 times more likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest rate of exposure. However, people who were obese but did not have high levels of persistent organic pollutants were not at an increased risk to develop diabetes.