Understanding the Association between Wildfire Smoke PM2.5 Exposure and Mood Disorders in California from 2007-2018 a Case-Crossover Study Open Access

Nanavati, Anuj (Spring 2023)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/qr46r234h?locale=en


Introduction: Climate change has emerged as the largest public health threat of the 21st century, causing areas like California to be exposed to more extreme heat days as well as severe droughts. These factors have led to an increase in number and intensity of wildfires in California releasing tons of smoke and PM2.5. We aimed to understand the association between wildfire smoke PM2.5 exposure and an increase of Emergency Department (ED) visits for mood disorder from 2007-2018.


Methods: This study was a case crossover study where each case had 3-4 controls. We looked at their exposure to wildfire smoke PM2.5 level 48 prior to their ED visit based on the zip code we had on their medical record. We used ICD9 and ICD10 codes to determine if a patient came in for a mood disorder. We specifically focused on wildfire season (May-October) and those who came to the ED for a primary mood disorder.


Results: During wildfire season, those who came to the ED and were diagnosed with a primary mood disorder had 1.02 times higher odds of being exposed to between 0.69-1.39 mm/m3(25th-50th quartile) compared to the odds of coming to the ED for a primary mood disorder among those exposed to no wildfire smoke (p= 0.001).


Conclusion: Our findings seem to suggest that wildfire smoke PM2.5 exposure’s association with mood disorders might be more physiological than psychological since we saw increased odds at PM2.5 levels that are not noticeable to the human eye or nose.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Literature Review 1

Thesis 5

Introduction 5

Methods 9

Results 12

Discussion 14

Appendix 17

Citations 21

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