The world is fast developing. A city is not considered developed if there is not even a single place where traffic is more. People complaint about the traffic. Its not the pollution, but the time it consumes.

Memory loss is an example.
Credits: The Mac Observer, Inc.

Where time and money matter much, there is no place for health which is equally important. In fact, it is not even on the priority list of these city dwellers. The living in traffic prone zones has resulted in dementia among several people.

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. For example, memory loss including depression. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.

Linking the proximity to traffic and its influence on people’s neurological health

The researchers from Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), published a paper in The Lancet. The paper clearly states the link between residential proximity to major traffic roads and the dementia among the dwellers. Scientists identified 243,611 cases of dementia within this decade. Out of which, one in ten was caused due to the pollution in the surroundings. To emphasize, the risk factor increases by 7% when moving to a proximity of 50 meters from 300 meters.

A poster by the PHO and ICES
Credits: Newsroom/PHO

Dr. Hong Chen, environmental and occupational health scientist at PHO said, “Little is known in current research about how to reduce the risk of dementia.” He also said, “Our findings show the closer you live to roads with heavy day-to day traffic, the greater the risk of developing dementia. With our widespread exposure to traffic and the greater tendency for people to live in cities these days, this has serious public health implications.”

“This study suggests air pollutants that can get into the brain via the blood stream can lead to neurological problems,” says Dr. Ray Copes, one of the authors on the paper titled Living Near Major Roads and the Incidence of Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis: A Population-based Cohort Study.
Heavy traffic increases dementia
Credits :

He further suggests that the findings of this paper could be of help while designing buildings and making municipal land decisions. According to him, designers and official will have to work, taking the pollution factors into consideration.

New technological developments are increasing the level of noise and air pollution. This in turn is leading to several mental disorders. Its high time we realise it affects on our health and take possible precautions to avoid dementia. The governments must take steps to safeguard it’s citizens. Indeed, the people, by now must start taking care of health, putting it on top of all priorities.



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