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Air pollution risks youngsters’ mental health

Smoke billows from the chimneys of a power station in New Delhi September 2, 2009. India's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to jump to between 4 billion tonnes and 7.3 billion tonnes in 2031 but the Asian power's rapid economic growth will be sustainable, a government-backed report said on Wednesday.  REUTERS/Vijay Mathur (INDIA ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
Smoke billows from the chimneys of a power station in New Delhi September 2, 2009. India's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to jump to between 4 billion tonnes and 7.3 billion tonnes in 2031 but the Asian power's rapid economic growth will be sustainable, a government-backed report said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Vijay Mathur (INDIA ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)

Washington D.C: Young people who are exposed to air pollution for long period are more likely to be prescribed medications for psychiatric diagnoses, according to a recent study.

The Umea University study, wherein the correlation between exposure to air pollution in residential areas and children’s and adolescents’ psychiatric health was studied, indicates that dispensed medication for psychiatric diagnosis can be related to air pollution concentrations.

The study was performed by looking at register-based data, where dispensed medications of all Swedes are registered, together with Swedish National Register data of air pollution concentrations. The entire population under 18 in the Swedish counties of Stockholm, Vastra Gotaland, Skane and Vasterbotten were studied.

The results show that air pollution increased the risk of having dispensed medication for at least one psychiatric diagnosis for children and adolescents, the risk increased with 9 percent with a 10 microgram per cubic meter increased concentration of nitrogen dioxide even after socioeconomic and demographic factors were taken into account.

“The results can mean that a decreased concentration of air pollution, first and foremost traffic-related air pollution, may reduce psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents,” says researcher Anna Oudin, who led the study.

The study is published in the journal BMJ Open. (ANI)

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