(ORDO NEWS) — According to new research , conducted in the UK , even a small increase in the amount of harmful substances in the air affects the growth of depression and anxiety in people. Scientists have found, that increased levels of nitrogen oxide in the air ( due to the exhaust gas) increases the risk of mental disorders by 39%.
Scientists also found that people living in areas with higher levels of pollution are twice as likely to have psychological problems as those who live in the least polluted areas. The researchers note that other factors, such as genetics and a happy childhood, are also important for mental health, but unlike them, the problem of air pollution can be solved.
The study involved over 1,000 adults in South East London. Scientists have been researching for five years. The authors also note that the results of this work are relevant to cities and towns around the world. At the moment, in the UK, almost every urban area has a level of pollution above the acceptable standards of the World Health Organization, and around the world 90% of people breathe dirty air.
Dr. Ian Mudway, one of the authors of the paper, said that the rate of mental disorders is known to be higher in cities, as there is less green space and more social problems. However, he stressed that new research has indicated that even if the socioeconomic causes of depression in cities are overcome, the air can continue to be dirty, thereby affecting people’s health.
New research that was published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, highlights the effects of air pollution on the brain. Scientists have long known that bad air affects the heart and lungs, but very little work has been done that has examined the negative effects of air pollution on the brain.
New research has linked polluted air to an increase in suicide rates and has shown that the risk of mental illness increases in polluted areas. Previous work has also shown that air pollution causes a decrease in intelligence and is associated with dementia. In 2019, scientists concluded that air pollution can wreak havoc on every organ in the human body.
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