Mental health burden amongst inhabitants of an arsenic-affected area in Inner Mongolia, China.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Science, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1, Iseigaoka, Yahatanishiku, Kitakyush 807-8555, Japan.
Social Science [?] Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.73). 12/2004; 59(9):1969-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.02.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inner Mongolia, China, is an area with high levels of arsenic. The adverse health effects resulting from chronic arsenic exposure include skin keratosis, vascular diseases and cancers. However, the effects of arsenic exposure on mental health have not received much attention. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of arsenic poisoning on the mental health of the inhabitants of an arsenic-affected area. We performed a cross-sectional study at two villages in Hetao Plain, Inner Mongolia. The populations of both villages were similar in age, sex, lifestyle, socioeconomic conditions, and geographic location. One hundred and thirty four (93.7%) of the 143 inhabitants in the arsenic-affected village and 36 (76.6%) of the 47 inhabitants in the arsenic-free village participated in the study. Subjects with a 30-item version of General Health Questionnaire score of 9 or more were defined as having symptoms of distress. The multiple logistic analyses showed that the mental health of the subjects in the arsenic-affected village was worse than in those in the arsenic-free village (OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.1-6.0). The effect of arsenic on mental health in arsenic-affected areas deserves further investigation. The mental health burden in arsenic-affected areas should be considered in the wider context of public and community health.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated total daily intake of As by residents in Prey Veng province in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia. Groundwater (n = 11), rice (n = 11) and fingernail (n = 23) samples were randomly collected from the households and analyzed for total As by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Calculation indicated that daily dose of inorganic As was greater than the lower limits on the benchmark dose for a 0.5% increased incidence of lung cancer (BMDL0.5 equals to 3.0 μg d(-1) kg(-1)body wt.). Moreover, positive correlation between As in fingernail and daily dose of As from groundwater and rice and total daily dose of As were found. These results suggest that the Prey Veng residents are exposed to As in groundwater. As in rice is an additional source which is attributable to high As accumulation in human bodies in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia.
    Environmental Pollution 11/2013; 185C:84-89. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Contamination of groundwater by inorganic arsenic is one of the major public-health problems in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study was conducted (a) to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) and mental health status of arsenic-affected patients and (b) to identify the factors associated with the QOL. Of 1,456 individuals, 521 (35.78%) were selected as case and control participants, using a systematic random-sampling method. The selection criteria for cases (n = 259) included presence of at least one of the following: melanosis, leucomelanosis on at least 10% of the body, or keratosis on the hands or feet. Control (nonpatient) participants (n = 262) were selected from the same villages by matching age (+/- 5 years) and gender. The Bangladeshi version of the WHOQOL-BREF was used for assessing the QOL, and the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ) was used for assessing the general mental health status. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and the WHOQOL-BREF and SRQ scores between the patients and the non-patients were compared. The mean scores of QOL were significantly lower in the patients than those in the non-patients of both the sexes. Moreover, the mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients (mean score for males = 8.4 and females = 10.3) showed greater disturbances than those of the non-patients (mean score for males = 5.2 and females = 6.1) of both the sexes. The results of multiple regression analysis revealed that the factors potentially contributing to the lower QOL scores included: being an arsenic-affected patient, having lower age, and having lower annual income. Based on the findings, it is concluded that the QOL and mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients were significantly lower than those of the non-patients in Bangladesh. Appropriate interventions are necessary to improve the well-being of the patients.
    Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 09/2012; 30(3):262-9. · 1.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Arsenic toxicity is a worldwide health concern as several millions of people are exposed to this toxicant via drinking water, and exposure affects almost every organ system in the body including the brain. Recent studies have shown that even low concentrations of arsenic impair neurological function, particularly in children. This review will focus on the current epidemiological evidence of arsenic neurotoxicity in children and adults, with emphasis on cognitive dysfunction, including learning and memory deficits and mood disorders. We provide a cohesive synthesis of the animal studies that have focused on neural mechanisms of dysfunction after arsenic exposure including altered epigenetics; hippocampal function; glucocorticoid and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) pathway signaling; glutamatergic, cholinergic and monoaminergic signaling; adult neurogenesis; and increased Alzheimer’s-associated pathologies. Finally, we briefly discuss new studies focusing on therapeutic strategies to combat arsenic toxicity including the use of selenium and zinc.
    Current Environmental Health Reports. 06/2014; 1(2).