To live, we need the air to breathe. Clean air is essential for a healthy life. An adult human breathes about 7.5 litres of air per minute. Only healthy air keeps people and nature healthy. Air pollution has been shown to cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, heart disease and strokes.
Higher levels of air pollution do not just cause lung disease. Medical research provides increasing evidence of a tangible link between Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and air pollution. Poor air quality appears to exacerbate these diseases. Currently, about ten million people in Europe alone have dementia.
Scientists from the Dementia Forecasting Collaborators have now determined more precisely how the incidence of dementia will develop in the future as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study. They have analysed data from 204 countries. According to the latest forecast, the number of dementia patients could almost triple by 2050 – from about 57 million in 2019 to 153 million in 2050. In Western Europe, scientists expect an average of 74% more cases, and in Germany, about 65% more dementia cases are estimated by 2050. In general, women are also more affected than men. Toxic pollutants cause inflammation in the lungs and blood, damaging the ageing brain and leading to altered brain function.
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