Traffic fumes linked to teenage pyschosis, study finds

Traffic fumes linked to teenage pyschosis, study finds

Traffic fumes linked to teenage pyschosis, study finds

And they are often nothing to worry about, researchers say.

This includes hearing voices or feeling they were being followed, watched or spied on.

Researchers from King's College in London recorded the areas frequented by participants, as well as their home address, before asking them to answer a range of questions such as "do you hear voices others can not?".

Nearly one-third of the more than 2,000 respondents reported at least one psychotic episode within the last six years, most commonly those who had been exposed to the highest levels of air pollution.

The researchers also found a link to small particle pollution, with psychotic experiences 45% more common for those teens exposed to higher levels.

An association between living in cities and psychotic experiences may partly be explained by higher levels of outdoor air pollution found in these urban places, but the study notes some worthy limitations.

The study mentioned above has revealed that 623 teens who represented 30% have reported at least one psychotic experience between the ages of 12 and 18 years old.

Scientists used hourly estimates of air pollution from locations where the teens spent a majority of their time when they were 17, in order to calculate their exposure to air pollution.

Traffic fumes linked to teenage pyschosis, study finds

"We know traffic is noisy, and we know noise can disrupt sleep, and it can also be very stressful for people and both of those things have been associated with these types of psychotic experiences as well", senior author Dr Helen Fisher said.

Senior author Dr Helen Fisher, from the IoPPN, says: 'Psychotic disorders are hard to treat and place a huge burden on individuals, families, health systems and society more broadly.

The finding is "highly press sensitive" and "drawn from a study with literally thousands of variables", noted van Os, who has researched and explored psychosis but was not involved in the new research. "In the absence of replication it does not mean much and is most likely a false positive finding".

The researchers cautioned that although the study found that people living in areas of high pollution were more at risk it didn't establish that pollution was the cause. "There is a bigger picture here, but that does not diminish the importance of these findings and the potential that comes from this".

Air Pollution levels in rural, intermediate, and urban settings. "This study adds to the growing evidence that air pollution could have devastating and far reaching consequences on our physical and mental health, that is put at further risk if policymakers do not address this public health emergency".

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, wrote in an editorial published beside the study that "air pollution exposures are ubiquitous in urban environments", yet they are "modifiable and can be reduced through rigorous regulatory action". "These could be lifestyle, nutritional, or neighborhood-level factors".

Given predictions that 70 per cent of the world's population will be urban by 2050, experts around the world are calling for more to be done to drastically lower pollution levels.

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