Exposure to traffic fumes can set children on the road to diabetes, a study has shown.
Living near a busy road and increased levels of pollution from cars and lorries significantly raised the risk of insulin resistance in ten-year-olds, scientists found.
The condition is a recognised precursor of Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers in Germany looked at the effect of two kinds of traffic pollution on 397 children. For every defined step-rise in levels of nitrogen dioxide and sooty particulate matter from diesel exhausts, the risk of insulin resistance increased by 17% and 19% respectively.
The risk also rose by 7% every 500 metres closer to a major road a child lived.
Study leader Dr Joachim Heinrich, from the Research Centre for Environmental Health in Neuherberg, said: "Insulin resistance levels tended to increase with increasing air pollution exposure..."