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Glaucoma: a French study shows an “increased risk” for the inhabitants of areas polluted with fine particles



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After a study that lasted ten years, French researchers were able to observe that exposure to fine particle pollution could accelerate the thinning of the nerve fiber layer of the retina.

A study by Inserm and the University of Bordeaux published in the journal Environmental Research observed that people most exposed to air pollution, and in particular to fine particles, would be more at risk of being affected by an accelerated thinning of the layer of nerve fibers of the retina, as reported by the specialized site

According to the French researchers, there would therefore be “a possible increase in the risk of glaucoma for the inhabitants of areas polluted with fine particles, even at levels below the current regulatory thresholds of the European Union”. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in France.

683 elderly people studied over ten years

The study took place over ten years and the scientists recruited 683 elderly people living in Bordeaux. Between 2009 and 2020, participants were examined every two years to measure changes in the thickness of the nerve fiber layer of their retina. The researchers then found that people who had been exposed to higher concentrations of fine particles had a faster thinning of the retinal nerve layer over the years.

“With regard to PM2.5 fine particles, the average exposure estimates over 10 years were below the European Union regulatory annual threshold (set at a maximum of 25 μg/m3) for all participants, but above the limit values ​​recommended by the WHO in 2005 (10 μg/m3) further lowered in 2021 (5 μg/m3)”, explains the Inserm press release.

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