The Lancet research looked at 35 studies with data for thousands of patients in 12 countries, including the UK, the US and China.
The strongest link was found with gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, as well as fine particulate air pollution. Fumes from buses, taxis and road transportation can get deep into the lungs and, from there, into the bloodstream.
Air pollution has been linked to asthma and other lung diseases, including cancer, as well as heart problems. When pollution levels are high, people should take measures to protect themselves, by staying indoors when possible and avoiding busy roads.
That places me in a quandary. Two weeks ago, I decided to walk for 15 minutes after my evening meal. This was recommended to avoid type-2 diabetes in an older, less active person. The only place where I can walk is along a busy road under giant horse-chestnut trees and surrounded by open fields. However, at that time, the road is full of idling cars, buses and transports. The smell of fumes is overbearing in what should be fresh air.
Is Mother Nature killing off an overpopulated species?
Only the strong shall survive. Rather than the Earth rising up against mankind in a case of natural selection, the pollution weeding out the weak is of our own making.