Phthalate exposure associated with risk of Type 2 diabetes

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Exposure to toxic phthalates through common household items may double the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden found an association between test subjects over the age of 65, the amount of exposure to toxic phthalates found in products like cosmetics, scented candles, and plastics, and increased rates of Type 2 diabetes. The study does not directly link exposure to the industrial toxin to the disease, merely draws an association between people with higher rates of exposure and Type 2 diabetes diagnoses.

According to a WebMD.com report on the study,

“Researchers measured fasting blood sugar (when a person has not eaten for at least eight hours) and other factors associated with the hormone insulin in more than 1,000 70-year-old women and men from Uppsala, Sweden. Their blood was also analyzed for evidence of environmental toxins, including several substances formed when the body breaks down phthalates.”

While obesity and high cholesterol levels are conditions likely to cause Type 2 diabetes, the new study was able to determine the risk was double for developing the disease among people exposed to dangerous levels of phthalates. People with higher rates of phthalates in their bloodstream were twice as likely to have diabetes.

The number of people with Type 2 diabetes is on a dramatic rise around the world, with poor diets and obesity identified as the leading causes of the disease.