World Bulletin / News Desk
People living near major roads have a higher chance of developing dementia, according to a large-scale study published in British medical journal The Lancet on Thursday.
The research looked at six million adults living in Ontario, Canada between 2001 and 2012, and found that those living less than 50 metres (yards) from a busy road had a seven percent higher incidence of dementia.
The risk was four percent above normal for those living 50-100 metres from main roads and two percent higher among those 100-200 metres away.
There was no discernable elevated risk among people living more than 200 metres from a major route.
The study, led by Hong Chen from Public Health Ontario, found that long-term exposure to two common pollutants -- nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulates -- were associated with dementia but did not account for the full effect.
This suggested that other factors -- such as noise or other pollutants -- may play a contributing role.
The research did not establish any link between proximity to heavy traffic and other neurological conditions such as Parkinson's Disease or multiple sclerosis.
According to the World Health Organization, 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia -- a syndrome marked by deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.
Other causes of dementia include stroke and hypertension.
Pollution has long been suspected as playing a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease but no clear link had been established until now.
"Our study suggests that busy roads could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia," Hong said.
"Increasing population growth and urbanisation has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden."
PEG-2S promises to tackle superbugs that threaten world health
The change affects grazing conditions for the 146,000 or so semi-domesticated reindeer in Norway who feed on lichen and moss under the snow.
The discovery of the giant shipworm, a species never before studied, marked the first time scientists had live specimens in hand, according to an article published this week in American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
As many as one in 45 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to a recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A full 1.6 billion people remain affected by NTDs -- more than 500 million of them children -- but that number is down from more than two billion in 2010, WHO said.
For the first time ever in modern history, a team of scientists Monday documented as what they're describing as large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change.
In the next few hours he will receive a healthy kidney thanks to a pioneering system that has made Spain the world leader in organ transplants for the past 25 years.
Japan's corals, the northernmost in the world, could offer important data to bolster knowledge about marine life, as Australia's Great Barrier Reef faces a threat to its survival.
China is the world's largest consumer and producer of tobacco, and the industry provides the government with colossal sums.
During his time leading IAS, Mark Wainberg organised the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, and he also co-chaired the same conference in Toronto in 2006.
The UN's health agency said the epidemic had left more than 25,000 people sick, warning that number was likely to double by the end of June.
80 percent of countries acknowledge that their financing is still not enough to meet their nationally-set targets for increasing access to safe water and sanitation, it found.
Study finds a significant decrease in just 3 years after a ban was put in place limiting the inclusion of trans fats in eateries
The illness causes acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord, with the most common symptoms being fever, headache and neck stiffness.
Last year, the military was forced to apologize after a video surfaced of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain, prompting several street protests.