Air Pollution and Osteoporosis: Is There a Connection?

Researchers over the last several years have produced a large body of work tying air pollution to a wide range of chronic diseases. These include, but are not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma and even some cancers. Recently, a team of researchers added to our understanding of the effects of air pollution by demonstrating a connection between air pollution and osteoporosis. Here’s what you need to know about this new research and what it could mean for those living in highly polluted areas.


What Did Researchers Find About the Link Between Air Pollution and Osteoporosis?


The research team examined bone scans of about 9,000 American women. The scans were taken at intervals over a 6-year period, for a total of three scans for each woman. Using this data, the researchers could track the rate at which the women lost bone density over the studied time frame.


This data was then compared to air quality data from the areas in which the women lived. The researchers found that women living in more heavily polluted areas suffered from bone loss at about twice the rate of those living in areas with cleaner air. Nitrogen dioxide, a common component of air pollution, was identified as a key driver of accelerated osteoporosis.


What Are the Implications of This Research?


The finding that higher levels of air pollution could be contributing to rapid bone density loss in older women could have significant public health implications. As people continue to live longer, degenerative diseases like osteoporosis become larger and larger problems. Bone fractures resulting from low bone density can also significantly inhibit mobility, reduce quality of life and add to late-life medical costs.


This research is the latest in a long string of findings that suggest that air pollution is reducing overall health among those who are heavily exposed. While public policy will need to shift to address this issue across the board, individuals can still give themselves a degree of protection at home with residential air purifiers.


For those living in heavily polluted areas, we recommend the use of air purifiers that feature both HEPA and carbon filtration. Some of our top units include the Amaircare 3000 VOC, Field Controls TRIO Pro and Airpura G600. Although outdoor air pollution still poses health risks, using a high-quality air purifier at home can offer some additional protection from harmful contaminants.


Have questions about air purifiers or which unit is right for you? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us with your questions, and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers and personalized product recommendations based on your needs.