Childhood noise pollution linked to anxiety disorders

Here’s what a study found in children living in neighborhoods with lots of noise from cars and other sources.

Children living in neighborhoods with high levels of noise pollution may be at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders as they grow up, British scientists warn.

Exposure to air pollution also increases the risk of developing mental health problems, they add. Researchers believe that the cause is the effect of noise pollution and pollutants on children’s stress and sleep.

New findings Published in JAMA Network Open medical journal. The researchers looked at data from 9,065 volunteers, 51% of whom were women. They were all born in England between 1991 and 1993.

Researchers follow them from the day they are born. The data they analyzed refers to their mental health at age 24.5.

11.4% reported being or experiencing depression, the researchers found. 9.7% reported an anxiety disorder, and 19.5% experienced a psychotic episode.

Those exposed to noise pollution in their neighborhoods during childhood and/or adolescence were 20% more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Similarly, exposure to air pollution during fetal life increased the risk of depression by 10%. They also had an 11% increased risk of psychotic episodes. The risk is associated with exposure to microscopic particles 2.5 microns in diameter and below. One micron is one millionth of a meter.

Possible causes

“In childhood and adolescence, noise pollution can increase the risk of anxiety disorders because it exacerbates stress,” he said. leading researcher Dr. Joanne Newbury, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at King’s College London (KCL). “It can also significantly disrupt sleep.”

Noise from cars and other sources in the neighborhood can also affect children’s developing brains. These can be manifested by a decrease in concentration at school, which causes stress in children.

As for exposure to air pollution during pregnancy, it can affect brain development. It can also lead to reduced physical development of the fetus and premature birth. Both of these complications are risk factors for mental health problems, the researchers add.

However, the new findings do not prove that noise pollution and pollution are causally related to mental illness. The researchers conclude that they simply indicate an association that warrants further investigation.

Leave a Comment