On Jan. 4, medical journal The Lancet published the results of a Canadian study linking living near major roadways to increasing incidence of dementia. On the upside, they were also interested in any links with Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, but found no correlation. The study received assistance from Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) along with scientists from the University of Toronto, Carleton University, Dalhousie University, Oregon State University, and Health Canada.
The team, led by Dr. Hong Chen, sampled adults living in the province of Ontario between 20-50 years old and those between 55-85 years old beginning in 2001 (6.6 million total). Participants had none of the neurological ailments at the time the study began. Residential location and proximity to major roadways was derived from post code addresses beginning five years prior to the start of the study (1996). Major roadways are defined as tollways, highways, and the like.
As the study progressed, incidences of each disease were verified with provincial health agencies.
The results marry together the data, while excluding unrelated causes (things like diabetes, obesity, smoking, brain injury, and poverty … income is a factor in overall health).