Understanding the Interconnection of Air Pollution and Bipolar Disorder
- Journal Title: Environmental pollution is associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders in the US and Denmark
- Publication Date: August 20, 2019
- Authors: Atif Khan, Oleguer Plana-Ripoll, Sussie Antonsen, Jørgen Brandt, Camilla Geels, Hannah Landecker, Patrick F. Sullivan, Carsten Bøcker Pedersen, Andrey Rzhetsky
- Journal Source: PLOS Biology
The findings of this study focus on the increased risk of mental health issues triggered by air pollution in the United States (US).
Bipolar disorder is the most impacted by air pollution. In fact, regions with the worst air quality, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), show a 29% increase in bipolar cases. This is attributed to pollutants entering the brain tissues and affecting neurological and psychiatric disorders.
The study utilizes health data (health insurance claims covering inpatient and outpatient claims, medical procedures, and prescriptions, particularly lithium prescription history for bipolar disorder), air pollution data (focused on environments with the worst air quality in the US), and statistical methods to understand patterns and relationships that may exist among various variables (age, gender, and location).
Why This Study Matters
- Air Pollution Poses Mental Health Vulnerability: Empirically, air pollution has been shown to impact both physical and mental health. Moreover, this study reveals a 29% increased risk of bipolar disorder, with the majority of affected individuals in the 18-30 age group (22.35%).
- Policy Needs to Consider Health & Environmental Aspects: Recognizing the adverse impact of poor air quality on mental health, especially among young individuals, calls for systematic and holistic policies to address this issue.
- Collaborative Efforts: Stakeholders and policymakers should encourage collaboration across different sectors, including government, industry, and society, to design and implement effective policies to reduce the impact of air pollution and enhance the well-being of the community.
For further details, please refer to the complete research report or other articles in the field of environmental health and clinical psychology.