HealthDay News — For elderly adults, reduction of chemical exposures is associated with reduced burden and costs of diabetes, according to a study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, from New York University in New York City, and colleagues used the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors study (with about 1,000 participants) to examine the independent contribution of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethylene, polychlorinated biphenyls, and perfluoroalkyl substances to diabetes. Risk reductions were estimated assuming identical 25% reduction across levels of 4 compounds.

The researchers found that in cross-sectional analyses there was a 13% reduction in prevalent diabetes with reduction of chemical exposures, compared with a 40% decrease resulting from an identical 25% reduction in body mass index (BMI). Extrapolating to Europe, a total of 152,481 cases of diabetes and associated costs of €4.51 billion/year could be prevented, compared with 469,172 cases averted with BMI reduction.

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“These findings support regulatory and individual efforts to reduce chemical exposures to reduce the burden and costs of diabetes,” the authors write.


  1. Trasande L, Lampa E, Lind L, Lind PM. Population attributable risks and costs of diabetogenic chemical exposures in the elderly. J Epidemiol Community Health. 27 October 2016. doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208006