Air Pollution Linked to Psychiatric Illness
Poor air quality is associated with higher rates of several psychiatric disorders, new research suggests. Analyzing large datasets from the United States and Denmark, investigators found significant correlations between air pollution and bipolar disorder in both countries and between air pollution and depression, schizophrenia, and personality disorder in Denmark.
@honey Heritability explains the development of psychiatric disorders to a large extent, but "it's never 100%," and it is increasingly evident that environmental insults play an important role, Rzhetsky said. Air pollution is a complex mixture of small particulate matter, gases, metals, and organic contaminants generated by natural erosion of stones and human-made materials, exhaust of transport vehicles, industrial activity, and fires. There's already evidence from human, animal, and in vitro studies that airborne pollutants can end up in the brain and are implicated in the etiology of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. For the current study, the researchers carried out two analyses, one using US data, and the other Danish data.
It was impossible to have the same design for the two datasets, said Rzhetsky. He added that the two countries have different cultures and diverging approaches to healthcare, population tracking, and environmental monitoring.