A recent large scale study has found that degrading environmental conditions and pollution can potentially give rise to mental health issues among the masses. In this study, researchers had studied data from millions of individuals, belonging to America and Denmark. During the examination, they found that there was a correlation between exposure to air pollution and the rate of mental illness. Data of both the countries showed signs that higher exposure to air pollution can cause slight increase the chances of bipolar disorder.
Childhood data was available in Denmark and researchers found that exposure to degraded air in the first 10 years of a kid life heightened the chances of them suffering from one or more mental health issues like depression, anxiety etc. According to Dr. John Loannidis, this research just provides correlations but no concrete evidence. He said that this data don’t necessarily always provide the right or reliable answers. He added that as of now this is an interesting study and can spark further researches as well.
Senior researcher Dr. Andrey Rzhetsky also said that that their study just hints of an association between the two things and shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence. Rzhetsky’s team mined the data from two large populations to find clues that associated mental health and air pollution. As for the portion from U.S. they had studied the data of health insurance claims of more than 151 million American citizens and noted mental health related issues and diagnosis they had undergone between 2003 and 2013. They assumed air pollution exposure of these people by assessing the air quality data from the country or city or origin of those people between 2000 and 2005.Further the researchers divided the countries to seven different groups and overall occurrences of mental disorders were about 29% higher in countries/region that were the most populated.