BACKGROUND: The associations of atmospheric particulate matter with diameters of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) and road traffic noise with mental disorders in men and women are not well studied.
OBJECTIVES: We aim to examine the cross-sectional associations of PM2.5 and road traffic noise with mental disorders in men and women.
METHODS: The baseline data of the UK Biobank study (2006-2010) were used. Mental disorders including symptoms of nerves, anxiety, tension or depression (NATD), major depression, and bipolar disorder were assessed by validated questions. Verified models were used to estimate PM2.5 and road traffic noise.
RESULTS: A total of 334,986 participants with measurements of NATD and 90,706 participants with measurements of major depression and bipolar disorder were included in the analysis. After adjusting for covariates, the odds for the risk of NATD symptoms increased by 2.31 (95% CI: 2.15-2.50) times per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5. The odds for the risk of major depression and bipolar disorder increased by 2.26 and 4.99 times per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5. On the other hand, higher road traffic noise exposure was significantly associated with a higher risk of NATD symptoms (Decile 6-8 (54.9-57.8 dB), OR: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01-1.06; Decile 9-10 (≥57.8 dB), OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01-1.07) and bipolar disorder (Decile 2-5 (52.1-54.9 dB), OR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.00-1.59; Decile 6-8 (54.9-57.8 dB), OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.02-1.65; Decile 9-10 (≥57.8 dB), OR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.21-1.97). Interestingly, a negative association was observed between moderate road traffic noise and major depression (Decile 2-5 (52.1-54.9 dB), OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90-1.00). Interactions between PM2.5 exposure with age, gender, and sleeplessness for NATD symptoms were observed (P < 0.05), while interactions between road traffic noise exposure with age and gender were observed (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: We found a positive association between PM2.5 and mental disorders. Meanwhile, we found a positive association of road traffic noise with NATD symptoms and bipolar disorder and a negative association of moderate road traffic noise with major depression. Also, the effect modifications of these associations by age, gender, or sleeplessness may exist.