Schizophrenia affects millions of people around the world and is a chief contributor to disability. Researchers are still working to uncover all the risk factors that could facilitate the development of this condition. A new study suggests that air pollution may be one of them.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 20 million people all around the globe live with schizophrenia.
Hallucinations, persistent false beliefs, disordered thinking, and emotional disconnect chiefly characterize this mental health condition, and it is one of the main contributors to disability.
People who live with schizophrenia also have a higher risk of premature death compared with the general population.
Still, researchers are unsure of what causes this condition and why. So far, they argue that the top risk factor might be a person’s genetic makeup, which interacts with environmental factors, such as social isolation and substance abuse.
The search for risk factors, however, continues, and a new study from Aarhus University in Denmark may have identified another one: exposure to air pollution during childhood.