Home » Trending Health News » Could Air Pollution Increase Anxiety?

Could Air Pollution Increase Anxiety?


A new study suggests that living in a smoggy area could actually increase anxiety levels.

For some time it’s been known that exposure to air pollution can have a dramatic impact on our physical health. But this new study, which was led by Melinda Power, a researcher at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, shows that it can also have an effect on our mental health.

The study involved an examination of 70,000 women aged 57 to 85. The women participating in the study were asked basic questions about their mental health, with a special focus on anxiety.

The study’s results, like its methodology, were fairly straightforward: those women who lived in relatively polluted parts of the country were most likely to report having issues with anxiety. Specifically, 15-percent of women in polluted areas showed “high symptoms” of mental anxiety. That said, Power acknowledged that this did not mean these women were suffering from anxiety disorders.

Power admits that there could be many other factors at play here – such as noise pollution. In other words, Power and her team can’t yet say for certain that air pollution is a direct cause of anxiety, but it’s an important finding nonetheless.

Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, agrees. “This is early research,” Brauer said. “It’s an intriguing finding, but you can’t make conclusions from a single study.”

That said, it is possible that pollution could be causing inflammation of the brain, thereby intensifying existing mental health issues. Still, it’s too early to draw that link.

“It’s biologically plausible,” Brauer said. “But we need more research looking at the potential mechanisms.

ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • High Anxiety: 6 Facts on Panic Attack
    We’ve all panicked—right before a big presentation, prior to meeting your significant other’s family, or if you’re like me, at the mention of karaoke.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Ways to De-Stress at a Desk
    Work and stress often go hand-in-hand. Between the time pressure of deadlines, multi-tasking, and the challenges of managing relationships with co-workers and bosses, both the body...
    Trending Health News
  • Subtle Symptoms of Chronic Stress
    We all experience stress at certain times in life—due to the demands of family or work or even social obligations.
    Trending Health News
  • Avoid These Common Triggers of Restless Leg Syndrome
    When you feel like your legs want to do their own thing, especially when you're minding your own business on the couch or even trying to fall asleep in bed, it's probably restless...
    Trending Health News
  • Best Natural Remedies to Treat Hypothyroidism
    Thyroid problems can have a major impact on your overall health, as it's a big part of your endocrine system responsible for producing hormones.
    Trending Health News
  • Diet Triggers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    As the name suggests, irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is definitely a point of irritation for those affected by it.
    Trending Health News
  • Most Common Causes of Low Blood Pressure
    The media and medical world place a lot of emphasis on high blood pressure, as it can lead to bigger problems like stroke or heart attacks.
    Trending Health News
  • Facts All Men Should Know About Heart Disease
    Heart disease is admittedly not a fun dinnertime topic, but it's a serious issue that men (and women) should be aware of. According to Healthline.
    Trending Health News
  • Some Reasons Why Your Cough Won't Go Away
    So you've got a chronic cough, and you're not sure why. It could be something relatively harmless and easily fixable, or it could be a warning sign of something more...
    Trending Health News
  • The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
    According to mental health professionals, post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a mental condition that results in a series of emotional and physical reactions in individuals...
    Trending Health News
  • Reasons You Feel Tired All of the Time
    It’s a problem many of us have to deal with—feeling tired in the middle of the day. It’s a costly problem.
    Trending Health News
  • Heart Palpitation: Common Reasons for Your Abnormal Heartbeat
    Heart palpitations occur when the heart beat increases—it may noting a flutter, skipped beat, or heart rate that’s abnormally hard and fast in your chest, throat, or...
    Trending Health News
  • The Most Common Causes of Hypertension
    Heart disease is one of the biggest silent killers on a global scale.  Having hypertension (or high blood pressure) means that the pressure to which your arteries pump blood from...
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Ways to Reduce Wedding Planning Stress
    Is there anything more stressful than planning a wedding? Probably, but not much. Let's face it, when you only have one chance to celebrate your love and kick-start a new and...
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Ways to Appreciate Yourself for International Self-Care Day
    We spend a good deal of our time as friends and parents worrying about the well-being of others, without paying too much mind about our own wellness in many cases.
    Trending Health News