In a study conducted in Canada which followed 2m people for 11 years approximately 10% of people who gained dementia could be due to their proximity to a major road.
The research does not know the precise reason beyond the distance that people live to a major road such as whether the traffic, pollution or noise, for example, are the primary contributors to those contracting dementia.
Dr Hong Chen, one of the report authors from Public Health Ontario:- “Increasing population growth and urbanisation have placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden. “
It is estimated that there are 50m sufferers globally of the condition. UK Dementia experts have stated that the conclusions seem reasonable but may require further scrutiny. Unfortunately with population centres growing in size the likelihood of more diagnoses of dementia looks certain in the years to come. For providers of care attempting to set up new locations, where possible, more than 50m from a main road would seem to be a precaution which may help decrease the onset of dementia.