Exposure to air pollution increases risk for anxiety or depression: Study
Long-term exposure to even low levels of several common air pollutants significantly increased the risk of depression and anxiety, a new study confirmed.
Researchers analyzed the health data of nearly 400,000 people in the United Kingdom against estimates of common air pollutants at each person’s home address over a 10-year period.
The results indicated that the risks of depression and anxiety were significantly higher with long-term exposure to even low levels of several common air pollutants: small particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric oxide. The pollutants increased the risk of depression by 16% and the risk of anxiety by 11%.
The new research was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
“This study indicates that when patients present with depression and/or anxiety symptoms, their place of residence and work should be considered as a contributing factor,” said study investigator Frank J. Kelly, PhD, professor and chair of community health and policy at Imperial College London.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the air we breathe could be affecting our mental as well as our phy