Laura Sharman 27 August 2021

Study links air pollution to use of mental health services

Study links air pollution to use of mental health services image

Those exposed to high levels of air pollution are more likely to use mental health services, a new study has revealed.

Researchers from the University of Bristol discovered that people recently diagnosed with psychotic and mood disorders were more likely to use secondary mental healthcare services if they were exposed to higher residential levels of air pollutants compared to those exposed to lower air pollution.

The study found that an increase in air pollution increases the risk of someone needing an inpatient stay or needing community-based mental healthcare after their initial diagnosis.

This suggests that tackling air pollution could help reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes for those with these disorders.

Dr Ioannis Bakolis, senior lecturer in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) King’s College London and lead author of the study, said: 'Our research indicates that air pollution is a major risk factor for increased severity of mental disorders.

'It is also a risk factor that is easily modifiable which suggests more public health initiatives to reduce exposure such as low emission zones could improve mental health outcomes as well as reduce the high healthcare costs caused by long-term chronic mental illness.’

The researchers found that reducing the UK's urban population’s exposure to PM2.5 to the World Health Organisation’s recommended annual limit would reduce usage of mental health services by around two per cent.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Travel Information Data Technician

Essex County Council
Up to £25581 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to work across all aspects of the Integrated Passenger Transport Unit (IPTU). Working with a passionate and dedicated England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager

Essex County Council
£57621 - £61410 per annum
Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager Permanent, Full Time £57,621 to £61,410 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Accountant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,571 - £42,614
Are you a qualified Accountant looking to take the next step in your career? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Family Assessment Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£25,419 to £27,514
We have a great opportunity for a full time Family Assessment Worker in the Parenting Assessment Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,023 - £24,920
The post holder will tackle environmental crimes and unlawful parking. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.