Bad Air Quality Linked to a Number of Health Issuesadmin
According to a new study published in PLOS Biology, air pollution puts those living in bad air quality areas at a higher risk for a myriad of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, premature birth, infertility and dementia, as well as increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder and depression, Popular Science reported.
Researchers looked at data sets from the United States and Denmark. The former included information from 151 million people and only includes overall air quality at the country level. The data from Denmark, on the other hand, contained information from fewer people (1.4 million), but provided air quality information for each person’s specific address at each day from birth until their 10th birthday. The environmental data was then analyzed alongside diagnosis information from an insurance database in the US and the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register in Denmark.
“Each dataset is imperfect in its own way,” senior author Andrey Rzhetsky of the University of Chicago said. “With this we have two similar analyses, but on different data sets and in different countries, which we thought would be more convincing than a single analysis.”
The team discovered the following when comparing those who lived in high air quality versus poor air quality areas:
- 27% higher rate of bipolar disorder
- 6% higher rate of major depression
- 150% higher rate of of schizophrenia
- 29% higher rate of bipolar disorder
- 162% higher rate of personality disorder
- 50% higher rate of major depression
“These findings add to the current evidence from previous studies of a possible link between air pollution and psychiatric disorders,” Ioannis Bakolis of King’s College, who was not involved in the study, said.
It’s important to note that this study is strictly observational and doesn’t prove that air pollution causes any of these conditions, just that there is a link. However, these findings do highlight the importance of good air quality. “It would be nice if it helps convince people in power that it’s important to have the environment clean,” Rzetsky said.