Ozone exposure linked to depressive symptoms in adolescents

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Teenagers’ exposure to higher ozone levels in their neighborhood is associated with increased depressive symptoms over time, according to a study published online March 14 in developmental psychology.

Erika M. Manczak, Ph.D., of the University of Denver in Colorado, and her colleagues examined whether neighborhood ozone levels predict the trajectories of depressive symptoms over a four-year period in 213 adolescents (aged 9 to 13 years old at the start; 57% women).

The researchers found that a higher ozone layer predicted greater increases in depressive symptoms throughout adolescent development, a pattern not seen for other forms of psychopathological symptoms. Teens who live in census tracts with relatively higher average ozone levels were at greater risk of experiencing trajectories of increasing depressive symptoms over time compared to teens living in areas with lower average ozone levels. are lower, even when levels were below the national standard of 0.07 ppm for ozone.

“This is the first study of ozone exposure to use repeated measures of depressive symptoms in adolescents and to test competing possibilities that the results are explained by stress, socioeconomic resources, or neighborhood postmen,” the authors write. “This study adds to a growing body of research implicating air pollution in not only physical health outcomes, but also mental health outcomes in young people.”

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