New Study Finds Link Between Air Pollution and Type 2 Diabetes

When we think of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, we think of things going on inside our bodies; our genes, what we eat and drink (or smoke), and how we otherwise take care of ourselves and our bodies. However, a recent study suggests that poor air quality where we live may increase the risk of developing the condition.

A team of University of California researchers just published a study in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal in which they found a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes in older individuals who live — and exercise outdoors — in areas with poor air quality.

The researchers looked at Mexican Americans aged 60 and older living in six Northern California counties, but they said that their findings apply to anyone living where there are high levels of air pollution.

The researchers regularly surveyed the study participants and tracked pollution, air quality, and traffic levels in their neighborhoods until 2007. During that period, they found 186 newly developed cases of diabetes among the roughly 1,800 individuals they surveyed.

Those who developed diabetes were more likely to exercise outdoors and lived in areas that had higher exposure to smog. Outdoor activities included gardening and yard work, dancing, walking, swimming, hunting, boating, camping, and outdoor sports. The study found that those who exercised outdoors in polluted areas were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

While exercise is an important and effective way to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the researchers said that individuals living in areas with elevated pollution levels need to take into consideration the risks associated with exercising in such conditions when developing their fitness regimen.

As study co-author Dr. Beate Ritz, a professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences at UCLA, wrote, “Physical activity is well-known and widely recognized for its health benefits, but the beneficial effects that outdoor physical activities have on human health may have to be weighed against the detrimental impacts of air pollution in areas affected by high pollution levels.”

If you live in a community that regularly experiences high levels of air pollution, you may want to consider exercising indoors more frequently. But, as noted, exercise can play a critical role in maintaining your health if you already live with diabetes. In addition to exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet, vigilant and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is an indispensable aspect of staying healthy for individuals with diabetes.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, accurate, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor keep abreast of their blood sugar levels 24/7 without any need to stop what their doing to take a blood sample.

If you recently received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, speak with your doctor and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.


If you are not insured, or have a high deductible health insurance plan, you can still purchase the Freestyle Libre Reader and Sensors at extremely competitive prices. Prices starting as low as $99 per month

*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when you suspect readings may be in accurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Reference 1: Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care. 2, FreeStyle Libre 14 day User’s Manual

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring systems are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The systems are intended for single patient use and require a prescription.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit for detailed indications for use and safety information.html. . FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Abbott. ADC-09691 vLO 10/18

*The FreeStyle LibreLink app and the FreeStyle Libre 14 day reader have similar but not identical features. Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 app and the FreeStyle Libre 2 reader have similar but not identical features. Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol and when your glucose alarms and readings from the system do not match symptoms or expectations

‡‡‡Based on the sensor being replaced once every 14 days, and scanned at least once every 8 hours.

§§§Glucose readings are not available during 1-hour warm-up, when sensor is too hot or too cold, when you see an error or "LO" or "HI" message, or no current glucose reading