Air pollution linked to anxiety, stroke
There's more evidence that the damage from air pollution goes beyond our lungs. Studies published in The BMJ found an association between particle pollution and a greater risk for both anxiety and stroke.
Researchers examined data on 71,271 women in a 2004 Nurses’ Health Study. Air pollution exposure was evaluated by proximity to a major road, and average exposure to fine and course air particle matter. About 15 percent of the nurses who answered the questionnaire said they felt fearfulness, desired avoidance, and had a tendency to worry. Additionally, the researchers found a significant relationship between higher exposure to fine particle pollution and the women with anxiety.
Women who lived between 50 and 200 meters from a major road were more likely to have increased symptoms of anxiety than women living further from a major road. Anxiety was also found to correlate to levels of pollution exposure, and recent exposure was found to correlate to stronger levels of anxiety.
A second study looked at the health effects of air pollution, focusing on research involving more than 100 observational studies covering 28 countries. Researchers from Edinburgh University in the UK examined the studies and compared the risk of stroke with levels of gaseous pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and particle matter like air pollution.
The results suggested a strong association between levels of pollution exposure and stroke risk. The findings have strong implications for policy change in countries such as China, where both air pollution and stroke incidence is high.