Air pollution and neighborhood stress appear to harm the aging brain. A combination of stressors could mean more cognitive impairment for vulnerable older adults, USC researcher says.
A USC study will examine the relationship between social stressors and environmental pollution on cognition in older adults. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Even with key steps taken to decrease air pollution in recent decades, there are serious health effects connected to auto exhaust and other pollutants in the air we breathe, especially for older adults. Air pollution can worsen existing heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and more in older people, according to Jennifer Ailshire, assistant professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Her latest research, published online Nov. 14 in the journal Social Science and Medicine, indicates that living in a high-pollution environment can also contribute to an increased risk of cognitive problems.