Air Pollution and Risk of Dementia (The Telegraph / Stroke / BBC News / RCP / Environmental Research)


Research suggests that middle-aged and older adults living in towns and cities may be prone to an increased risk of brain shrinkage and silent strokes, both of which have been linked to dementia.

The study of over 900 adults found that people living near major roads suffered cerebral shrinkage (i.e. ageing of their brains) equivalent to one year, and were also roughly 50% more likely to suffer silent strokes which would increase the chance of developing degenerative disease.

Full Text Link


Donnelly, L. (2015). Air pollution could increase risk of dementia. London: The Telegraph, April 23rd 2015.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Wilker, EH. Preis, SR. [and] Beiser, AS. [et al] (2015). Long-term exposure to fine particulate matter, residential proximity to major roads and measures of brain structure. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. May 2015, Vol.46(5), pp.1161-6. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Possibly of interest:

Full Text Link


Walsh, F. (2015). Air pollution: invisible health threat. London: BBC Health News / BBC Business News, October 6th 2015.


Full Text Link


Roberts, M. (2016). UK air pollution ‘linked to 40,000 early deaths a year’. London: BBC Health News, February 23rd 2016.

This relates to a Royal College of Physicians / Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health report, which asserts there is evidence associating air pollution to premature mortality plus “cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and changes linked to dementia”.

Full Text Link


Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution. Report of a working party. February 2016. London: Royal College of Physicians (RCP), February 18th 2016.

Clean Air Zones Proposed

Possibly of interest, the House of Commons Environment Committee has called for more “Clean air zones” in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton; thereby allowing the charging of high-polluting vehicles drivers, to discourage them from entering city centres across England.

Full Text Link


More polluting vehicle charge zones needed, say MPs. London: BBC Health News, April 27th 2016.

A Systematic Review

While air pollution is associated with increased risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, any association with cognitive functioning and impairment remains unclear, as yet.

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Clifford, AA. Lang, L. [and] Chen, R. [et al] (2016). Exposure to air pollution and cognitive functioning across the life course – A systematic literature review. Environmental Research, May 2016, Vol.147, pp.383-98. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).


About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in BBC News, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, International, Quick Insights, Royal College of Physicians, Statistics, Stroke, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.