Mouldy homes linked to depression...
Mouldy homes linked to depression
People living in damp and mouldy houses could have a higher risk of developing depression, research has revealed.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Brown University set out to prove that earlier studies which had suggested this link to be wrong.
But writing in the American Journal of Public Health today they say they found a 'solid association' between depression and the condition of the home.
'We thought that once we statistically accounted for factors that could clearly contribute to depression - things like employment status and crowding - we would see any link vanish,' said the study's lead author Edmond Shenassa. 'But the opposite was true.'
Moulds are toxins and some studies have suggested that they can affect the nervous and immune system as well as the part of the brain linked to social function.
In the latest study the researchers analysed data from nearly 6,000 European adults.
They suggest two factors that could be the possible cause of the link between mouldy homes and depression.
The first is a perceived lack of control over the housing environment and the other is mould-related problems such as wheezing, fatigue and a cold or throat illness.
'Physical health and perceptions of control are linked with an elevated risk for depression and that makes sense. If you are sick from mould, and feel you can't get rid of it, it may affect your mental health,'
Dr Shenassa explained.' What the study makes clear is the importance of housing as indicator of health, including mental health. Healthy homes can promote healthy lives.
Further research is now being carried out to see if mould does directly cause depression.