Growing evidence supports the link between air pollution and dementia

It highlights a ‘strong case’ for air pollution having a secondary effect on the brain, increasing the risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease. Photo: Pexels

(Ryan O’Hare/ Imperial College of London) — The independent review, published this week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and involving input from experts across the College, analysed the latest available evidence into negative impacts on the brain linked to air pollution.

Reported widely by UK media, it highlights how evidence of the link has grown in recent decades, with the authors concluding ‘it is likely air pollution does contribute to dementia and cognitive impairments’.

Professor Frank Kelly, head of Imperial’s Environmental Research Group and lead author, said: “Dementia is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) has reviewed a large number of studies and concluded that it is likely that air pollution contributes to a decline in mental ability and dementia in older people.” (…)

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