Air pollution can aggravate mental illness

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Air pollution can exacerbate mental illness, a study in London found in The Guardian’s online edition.

According to research results even a small increase in air pollution increases the risk of requiring hospitalization for a mentally ill patient.

The most comprehensive study of its kind found that exposure to air pollution is associated with the severity of mental illness. According to research involving 13,000 Londoners, a relatively small increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide increases the risk of a patient requiring outpatient treatment by 32 per cent and increases the risk of hospitalization by 18 per cent. “Air pollution can be changed, moreover, on a large scale, reducing the exposure of the population. Interventions could include, for example, increasing low-emission zones, ”said Joanne Newbury, a research fellow at the University of Bristol.

The study used the frequency of hospital admissions, outpatient service visits to measure severity. The researchers calculated that even a small reduction in a single pollutant could reduce disease and save the UK Public Health Service tens of millions of pounds a year.

The level of air pollution in London has decreased in recent years, but there is no safe level. “Even at low air pollution a very significant effect can be observed”Stressed Ioannis Bakolis, a fellow at King’s College London, a member of the research team.

Recent research has shown that a small increase in air pollution is associated with a significant increase in depression and anxiety.. Polluted air has also been linked to an increase in suicides, which indicated that if someone grows up in a bad air environment, there is an increased risk of developing mental disorders. Other research has found that air pollution causes a significant decrease in intelligence and may also be associated with dementia. A global analysis in 2019 concluded that air pollution can damage all organs in the human body.

A new study of patients in South London has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry tracked from the first contact with mental health services and used detailed estimates of air pollution in their homes.

In the study area, the quarterly average nitrogen dioxide levels varied between 18 and 96 micrograms (? G / m3) per cubic meter. The researchers found that people exposed to levels of contamination 15 micrograms per square foot had an 18 percent higher risk of hospital admission after one year and a 32 percent increased risk of needing outpatient treatment.

Seven years after the first treatment, the researchers re-evaluated the patients’ data and found that the link to air pollution was still evident. The results were not explained by a number of possible other factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, disadvantage, or population density, although unidentified factors may still play an important role, they wrote.

The aim of the study was not to demonstrate a causal relationship between air pollution and the severity of mental illness; this requires difficult laboratory research. However, according to researchers the relationship is “biologically likely” as air pollutants are known to cause serious inflammatory diseases, and inflammation is thought to be a factor in psychotic and mood disorders.

Researchers estimate that reducing the exposure of the urban population to airborne dust in England by just a few units to 10 gg per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization (WHO) would reduce access to mental health services by about 2 per cent and save tens of millions of pounds a year. the British economy.


Source: Patika Magazin Online by www.patikamagazin.hu.

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