Introduction: It remains unknown whether higher dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins could reduce the harmful effects of air pollution on incident diabetes mellitus. Methods: A total of 156,490 participants free of diabetes mellitus in the UK Biobank data were included in this analysis. Antioxidant vitamin intake was measured using a 24-h food intake questionnaire, and results were categorized as sufficient or insufficient according to the British Recommended Nutrient Intake. Exposure to fine particles (PM2.5), thoracic particles (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) was estimated using land use regression models at participants’ residences. Incident diabetes mellitus was identified using health administrative datasets. Cox regression models were used to assess the associations. Results: A total of 4271 incident diabetes mellitus cases were identified during a median follow-up of 11.7 years. Compared with participants with insufficient intake of antioxidant vitamins, those with sufficient consumption had a weaker association between air pollution (PM2.5, PM10 and NO2) and diabetes mellitus [sufficient vs. insufficient: HR = 1.12 (95 % CI: 0.87, 1.45) vs. 1.69 (95 % CI: 1.42, 2.02) for PM2.5, 1.00 (95 % CI: 0.88, 1.14) vs. 1.21 (95 % CI: 1.10, 1.34) for PM10, and 1.01 (95 % CI: 0.98, 1.04) vs. 1.05 (95 % CI: 1.03, 1.07) for NO2 (all p for comparison < 0.05)]. Among different antioxidant vitamins, we observed stronger effects for vitamin C and E. Conclusion: Our study suggests that ambient air pollution is one important risk factor of diabetes mellitus, and sufficient intake of antioxidant vitamins may reduce such adverse effects of air pollution on diabetes mellitus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis