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Min, J. -young, & Min, K. -bok. (2018). Outdoor light at night and the prevalence of depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors: a cross-sectional study in a nationally representative sample of Korean adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 227, 199–205.
Outdoor light at night (LAN) is an increasingly prevalent type of environmental pollution. Studies have demonstrated that outdoor LAN can disrupt circadian rhythms, potentially contributing to insomnia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic changes in humans. We investigated the association of outdoor LAN with depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors in South Korean adults.
This study used data from the 2009 Korean Community Health Survey, a representative sample dataset. Study population consisted of 113,119 participants for the assessment of depressive symptoms and 152,159 participants for the assessment of suicidal behavior. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Korean version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (depressive symptoms, score of > 16). Suicidal behaviors were defined as the experience of suicidal ideation or attempt. Outdoor LAN was estimated by satellite data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.
Participants with depressive symptoms or history of suicidal behaviors were more likely to have exposure to outdoor LAN than those without depressive symptoms or suicidal behaviors. Compared with adults living in areas exposed to the lowest outdoor LAN, those living in areas exposed to the highest levels had higher likelihood depressive symptoms (OR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.15â€“1.46) or suicidal behaviors (OR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.16â€“1.39). Significant dose-response relationships were observed between outdoor LAN and the odds of depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors.
Outdoor LAN was found to be significantly associated with depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors, suggesting that it may be an environmental contributor to mental health problems.
Min, J. -young, & Min, K. -bok. (2018). Outdoor Artificial Nighttime Light and Use of Hypnotic Medications in Older Adults: A Population-Based Cohort Study. Jcsm, 14(11), 1903–1910.
Abstract: Study Objectives
Outdoor artificial nighttime light is increasingly recognized as a form of environmental pollution. Excessive nighttime light exposure, whether from indoor or outdoor sources, has been associated with a number of deleterious effects on human health. We performed a population-based cohort study in South Korea to assess the possible association between outdoor nocturnal lighting and insomnia in older adults, as measured by prescriptions for hypnotic drugs.
This study used data from the 2002–2013 National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC), and a total of 52,027 adults who were age 60 years or older were included in the study. Light data were based on satellite mapping of artificial light. The usage data of two hypnotic drugs, zolpidem (N05CF02) and triazolam (N05CD05), were extracted from the NHIS-NSC records.
Of the 52,027 patients in this cohort, 11,738 (22%) had prescriptions for hypnotic drugs. Increasing outdoor artificial nighttime light exposure (stratified by quartile) was associated with an increased prevalence of hypnotic prescriptions and daily dose intake. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile 1, the regression coefficients for prescription days and daily defined doses of all hypnotic drugs and certain hypotonic drugs were significantly higher among those living in areas with higher outdoor artificial nighttime light (quartiles 2 through 4).
Outdoor artificial nighttime light exposure was significantly associated with prescription of hypnotic drugs in older adults. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that outdoor artificial nighttime light may cause sleep disturbances.