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Author (up) Helbich, M.; Browning, M.H.E.M.; Huss, A. url  doi
  Title Outdoor light at night, air pollution and depressive symptoms: A cross-sectional study in the Netherlands Type Journal Article
  Year 2020 Publication Science of The Total Environment Abbreviated Journal Science of The Total Environment  
  Volume in press Issue Pages 140914  
  Keywords Remote Sensing; Human Health  
  Abstract Background

Artificial light at night (ALAN) may be an anthropogenic stressor for mental health disturbing humans' natural day–night cycle. However, the few existing studies used satellite-based measures of radiances for outdoor ALAN exposure assessments, which were possibly confounded by traffic-related air pollutants.


To assess 1) whether living in areas with increased exposure to outdoor ALAN is associated with depressive symptoms; and 2) to assess the potential confounding effects of air pollution.


We used cross-sectional data from people (N = 10,482) aged 18–65 years in the Netherlands. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ–9). Satellite-measured annual ALAN were taken from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. ALAN exposures were assessed at people's home address within 100 and 600 m buffers. We used generalized (geo)additive models to quantify associations between PHQ–9 scores and quintiles of ALAN adjusting for several potential confounders including PM2.5 and NO2.


Unadjusted estimates for the 100 m buffers showed that people in the 2nd to 5th ALAN quintile showed significantly higher PHQ–9 scores than those in the lowest ALAN quintile (βQ2 = 0.503 [95% confidence interval, 0.207–0.798], βQ3 = 0.587 [0.291–0.884], βQ4 = 0.921 [0.623–1.218], βQ5 = 1.322 [1.023–1.620]). ALAN risk estimates adjusted for individual and area-level confounders (i.e., PM2.5, urbanicity, noise, land-use diversity, greenness, deprivation, and social fragmentation) were attenuated but remained significant for the 100 m buffer (βQ2 = 0.420 [0.125–0.715], βQ3 = 0.383 [0.071–0.696], βQ4 = 0.513 [0.177–0.850], βQ5 = 0.541 [0.141–0.941]). When adjusting for NO2 per 100 m buffers, the air pollutant was associated with PHQ–9 scores, but ALAN did not display an exposure-response relationship. ALAN associations were insignificance for 600 m buffers.


Accounting for NO2 exposure suggested that air pollution rather than outdoor ALAN correlated with depressive symptoms. Future evaluations of health effects from ALAN should consider potential confounding by traffic-related exposures (i.e., NO2).
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0048-9697 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 3056  
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