Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

13 October, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

Based on this data, the researchers at Stanford University linked the temperature to a higher rate of depressive tweets and an increase in suicides in both the U.S. and Mexico.

"While the precise magnitude of these climate-induced adversities is hard to estimate, the theoretical relationship between climate change and mental health risk is compelling", the study author notes.

A team of researchers led by Nick Obradovich of MIT Media Lab found that short-term exposure to extreme weather conditions and tropical cyclones, as well as the multiyear warming around the world, is associated for worsened mental health in Americans.

For the study, Obradovich and his colleagues combined data from the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, which includes self-reported personal mental health data on almost two million randomly sampled US residents, with daily meteorological data from 2002 through 2012. In this new study released to mark World Mental Health Day, scientists anchor how mental health is seriously impacted.

The CDC data included a location for each participant, and the researchers used it to match each person's mental health status to the weather where he or she lived.

The CDC data showed that after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, reports of mental health problems increased in places with declared disasters. "It is time to act on mental health".

Respondents were asked to answer the following: "Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?"


What's more, the shift from average monthly temperatures between 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) and 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) greatly increased one's likelihood of experiencing mental health difficulties.

In fact, a 1-degree C change - or a 1.8-degree F increase - could cause a 2 percent increase in mental health problems in just five years.

The results of a new study draw parallels between global warming and declining mental health.

Finally, the team examined mental health reports from people affected by Hurricane Katrina and compared them to reports from people in comparable-sized places that had not been affected by the catastrophic hurricane.

Other studies have found a connection between suicide rates and temperature. "For example, is poor sleep due to hot temperatures the thing that produces mental health problems?"

"Given the vital role that sound mental health plays in personal, social, and economic well-being", Obradovich and his coauthors concluded, "our findings provide added evidence that climatic changes pose substantial risks to human systems".

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