Saturday December 7, 2019

Living in Coastal Areas Can Support Better Mental Health: Study

Access to the coast could help to reduce these health inequalities in towns and cities close to the sea

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Coastal Areas
People in poorer households living close to Coastal Areas experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders. Pixabay

Living in the Coastal Areas could support better mental health in England’s poorest urban communities, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Health & Place revealed that living in large towns and cities near to England’s coastline is linked with better mental health for those in the lowest earning households.

“Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders,” said study lead author Jo Garrett from University of Exeter in the UK

“When it comes to mental health, this ‘protective’ zone could play a useful role in helping to level the playing field between those on high and low income,” she said.

Researchers used survey data from nearly 26,000 respondents in their analysis, which marks one of the most detailed investigations ever into the wellbeing effects of being beside the sea.

The research used data from the Health Survey for England and compared people’s health to their proximity to the coast; from those living less than one km away, to those more than 50 km away.

Coastal Areas
Living in the Coastal Areas could support better mental health in England’s poorest urban communities, a new study suggests. Pixabay

Its findings add to the growing evidence that access to blue spaces – particularly coastal environments – might improve health and wellbeing.

Approximately one in six adults in England suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and these are far more likely in people from poorer backgrounds.

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The findings suggest that access to the coast could help to reduce these health inequalities in towns and cities close to the sea. (IANS)

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder During Teenage Can Lead to Harmful Drinking Habits

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking

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Anxiety
Research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as Anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence strengthens the evidence for a relationship between anxiety and later alcohol use as the researchers accounted for other factors such as adolescent smoking and cannabis use, and parental anxiety and alcohol use.

“Helping adolescents to develop positive strategies for coping with anxiety, instead of drinking alcohol, may reduce the risk of future harmful drinking. However, we cannot determine if the relationship is causal, because we used an observational study design,” said Maddy Dyer.

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking, frequent bingeing, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking at age 18.

Generalised anxiety disorder continued to be associated with harmful drinking at age 21.

Drinking to cope was also strongly associated with more harmful drinking, but it did not appear to influence associations between anxiety and alcohol use.

Harmful drinking was measured using a special test developed by the World Health Association.

On average, adolescents with anxiety drank at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not.

Anxiety
Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later. Pixabay

“Our own research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex,” said Mark Leyshon, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Alcohol Change UK.

For example, anxiety can be both a result of stopping drinking and a risk factor in beginning to drink too much, as this new study suggests.

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“We need more research to help us better understand the connections between alcohol and mental health, as well as high-quality, accessible, integrated support for substance misuse and mental health issues,” Leyshon added. (IANS)