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Pollution could increase the severity of mental illness

Pollution could increase the severity of mental illness

L’air pollution it is increasingly widespread due to the large amount of aerosols, fuel residues and other harmful elements that we release into the environment every day. Previously, we had already determined the negative effects that this can have on our body. But now a recent study has also linked exposure to pollution to an increase in the severity of mental illness.

The research that led to such a discovery was recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. This explains that only small variations in environmental pollution appear to have a noticeable effect on the severity of mental illness recorded in the study.

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Exposure to pollution could affect the severity of mental illness

To carry out their study, the scientists worked with a sample of 13,000 people in London, England. They made a first cross-sectional review by analyzing the levels of environmental pollution and treatment and hospitalization for severe mental illness.

Specifically, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels that were analyzed were shown to be the most influential of the factors. When levels of micrograms per cubic meter exceeded 15 units, people had a 32% higher risk of needing treatment. Likewise, the chance of requesting hospitalization increased by 11%.

Seven years later, a second cross-sectional analysis was performed. Again, the findings reflected the relationship between increased pollution and increased severity of mental illness.

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Other effects of pollution

As if that weren’t enough, the link between pollution and mental illness is just the latest addition to the list of its negative effects. For example, previous studies have revealed that air pollution could alter the development of children’s brain structure and increase crime levels.

Likewise, they were also established correlations between exposure to pollution and increased resistance to antibioticsas well as the deterioration of bone health. In addition to the above, it also appears to be related to the gradual reduction in ***** size that is occurring generationally.

Do we have the solution?

The researchers clarify that their study, due to its characteristics, does not really offer evidence of a causal relationship between pollution and the severity of mental illness. However, they believe it reflects at least one “biologically plausible” connection which we should pay attention to in the near future.

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After all, just as small increases in air pollution can damage our health, even small decreases can benefit our health. Something that, according to his calculations, could save the National Health Service (NHS) tens of millions of pounds a year.