A multidecade study of young adults living in the United Kingdom has found higher rates of mental illness symptoms among those exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollutants, particularly nitrogen oxides, during childhood and adolescence.
Previous studies have identified a link between air pollution and the risk of specific mental disorders, including depression and anxiety, but this study looked at changes in mental health that span all forms of disorder and psychological distress associated with exposure to traffic-related air pollutants.
The findings, which will appear April 28 in JAMA Network Open, reveal that the greater an individual’s exposure to nitrogen oxides across childhood and adolescence, the more likely they are to show any signs of mental illness at the transition to adulthood, at age 18, when most symptoms of mental illness have emerged or begin to emerge.
Release date: 28 April 2021
Source: Duke University