Air Pollution Linked to Increased Mental Health Outpatient Visits

More pollution in the air could be linked to higher rates of mental health service utilization, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health found in a new study.

Researcher in Nanjing – China, found that, after comparing outpatient visit numbers with the amount of particulate matter found in the air every day, that visits were generally higher when the air quality was particularly poor.

“These tiny particles not only have effects on the lungs, the heart and the brain,” said YSPH Assistant Professor Kai Chen, Ph.D., who worked on the study as its senior author, “but they also have effects on other organs of your body.”

However, more studies need to be done, as there can be many reasons for this effect. For example, on a heavily polluted day, there might be fewer competing activities, such as outdoor social or sporting events, which may lead people to show up at their appointments. Or it could be that air pollution leads to increases in physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, which could lead someone to seek out mental services for help. Read more in the source article.

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