The impact of climate change on the prevalence of mental illness symptoms.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The repercussions of climate change threaten the population with an increased prevalence of extreme climate events. We explored the impact of climate change induced sea level rise (SLR) and tropical cyclone (TC) exposure on mental illness symptom prevalence. METHODS: Using three datasets, TC exposure scores were calculated for each subject to determine how exposure affects posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and major depressive disorder (MDD) symptom prevalence. Inundation mapping of various SLR and storm surge (SS) scenarios were performed for the susceptible region of Miami-Dade and Broward counties to determine the population impact of flooding. RESULTS: We found an elevated risk of mental illness symptoms from exposure to more high- intensity TCs and identified demographic variables that may contribute to this risk. Furthermore, inundation mapping demonstrated severe and widespread impact of SLR and SS on the mental health of communities. LIMITATIONS: This study did not include data directly measuring comorbidity, resilience, preparedness, or ability to adapt to climate change. Also, multiple imputation using chained equations may have been imperfect. Furthermore, there is uncertainty in predicting and mapping SLR and TC intensity, which limits complete confidence in our SS predictions. CONCLUSION: The impacts of climate change have been frequently studied in terms of physical health, natural disaster prevalence, and economic impacts, but rarely on mental health burden. However, it is vital that national, state, and local governments develop and deploy plans to address mental health needs along with expenditures for protecting infrastructure, the economy, and physical health from the combined effects of SLR and climate change-induced natural disasters.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Monsour, M; Clarke-Rubright, E; Lieberman-Cribbin, W; Timmins, C; Taioli, E; Schwartz, RM; Corley, SS; Laucis, AM; Morey, RA

Published Date

  • March 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 300 /

Start / End Page

  • 430 - 440

PubMed ID

  • 34986372

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2517

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jad.2021.12.124


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands