Navigation Links
NC coal plant emissions might play role in state suicide numbers
Date:5/13/2013

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. May 13, 2013 New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that suicide, while strongly associated with psychiatric conditions, also correlates with environmental pollution.

Lead researcher John G. Spangler, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of family medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, looked specifically at the relationship between air pollution and emissions from coal-fired electricity plants.

"This study raises interesting questions about suicide rates in counties where coal-fired electrical plants operate and suggests that the quality of air can affect people suffering from different mood disorders," Spangler said.

For this ecological study, Spangler evaluated air level contaminates in 20 North Carolina counties where coal-fired electricity plants existed, using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, 2001-2005 mortality rates from the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

County-level suicide rates were higher overall in North Carolina (12.4 per 100,000 population) compared to the U.S. population (10.8 per 100,000). The study found that for each additional coal-fired electricity plant per N.C. county, there were about two additional suicides per 100,000 population annually per county. As there were 20 coal-fired electricity plants in North Carolina when this study was carried out, that means there were about 40 suicides a year per 100,000 population related to the plants. When applied to the state's year 2,000 population of 8,049,313, this equals about 3,220 suicides a year associated with coal-fired electricity plants.

The study is published in the most recent online edition of the Journal of Mood Disorders.

"The presence of a coal-fired electricity plant correlated with airborne levels of nickel, mercury, lead, chromium, cadmium, beryllium and arsenic," Spangler said.

While prior research has evaluated the association between environmental contamination and mood disorders and suicide, coal emissions have not been looked at in this fashion, Spangler said. "This is the first study to show that the existence of coal-fired electricity plants is related to population-level suicide rates. Because suicide might be associated with environmental pollution, this study may help inform regulations not only of air pollutants, but also of coal-fired electrical power plant emissions."

Spangler has conducted previous ecological research into environmental heavy metals, looking at their correlation to diabetes mortality, chronic liver disease death, cancer mortality and infant mortality. Spangler said the study was subject to a number of limitations because it only looked at county-level characteristics and could not control for factors in individual residents.

"Still, it raises the interesting question of whether suicide in a given population is related to the presence or absence of coal-fired electricity plants and the air quality," he said. "Further research is needed to understand what factors related to coal burning actually are at play and suggest that tighter regulation of coal-fired power plant emissions might cut down on county suicide rates in North Carolina."


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4977
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery could help to develop drugs for organ transplant and cancer patients
2. Chin Implant Surgeries On the Rise in U.S.
3. History is key factor in plant disease virulence
4. Xenotransplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes
5. First, Second Kidney Transplants Have Similar Success: Study
6. Clemson professor awarded nearly $600,000 4-year grant to study language of plants
7. Lenalidomide prolongs disease control for multiple myeloma patients after stem cell transplant
8. Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients
9. U.S. Liver Transplants Declining
10. Study shows antibiotic improves respiratory function in lung transplant patients
11. Tiny implanted coil improves lung function in patients with severe emphysema
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van ... Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite ... 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme ... “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was ... other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of ... of companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 ... wage. This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology ... past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., ... developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was ... Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief ... shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: