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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Air Pollution May Cause Anxiety in Residents of Major Cities Like Lagos.

In a conference I attended in the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, one of the speakers suggested that residents of air polluted areas, like Lagos state, may suffer more anxiety related disorders. I thought it was absurd, but I have been looking up reasons why this is so.
Then I stumbled on a study on Reuter Health. It is quite educating. But you must know that the study was carried out on women.

Women who live in areas with higher air pollution may also have higher anxiety, according to a new analysis.
“It’s a really interesting finding and definitely suggests that air pollution may be related to mental health,” said lead author Melinda C. Power of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The researchers found no link between anxiety levels and large air pollution particles, but exposure to fine particles was tied to increasing anxiety levels, according to results in BMJ. The more recent the exposure, the higher the level of anxiety tended to be.
Since it was an observational study, it does not necessarily indicate that pollution causes anxiety, she said. Women living in more polluted areas may experience other sources of stress that would be linked to anxiety as well.
However, there is substantial evidence that lowering air pollution would improve cardiovascular health and respiratory health and reduce the risk of stroke, she said. Short-term exposure to particulate pollution is tied to an increase in stroke risk according to an analysis of all published research on the subject, which appears in the same issue of BMJ (British Medical Journal).