Pediatric #Psychiatric Emergency Department Utilization and Fine #Particulate Matter: A Case-Crossover Study

Acute exposure to ambient particulate matter <2.5μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) has been associated with adult psychiatric exacerbations but has not been studied in children.

A 10-μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a significant increase in any psychiatric ED utilization 1 [OR=1.07 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.12)] and 2 [OR=1.05 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.10)] d later.

When stratified by visit reason, associations were significant for ED visits related to adjustment disorder {e.g., 1-d lag [OR=1.24 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.52)] and suicidality 1-d lag [OR=1.44 (95% CI: 1.03, 2.02)]}. There were significant differences according to community deprivation, with some lags showing stronger associations among children in high versus low deprivation areas for ED visits for anxiety {1-d lag [OR=1.39 (95% CI: 0.96, 2.01) vs. 0.85 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.17)] and suicidality same day [OR=1.98 (95% CI: 1.22, 3.23) vs. 0.93 (95% CI: 0.60, 1.45)]}. In contrast, for some lags, associations with ED visits for adjustment disorder were weaker for children in high-deprivation areas {1-d lag [OR=1.00 (95% CI: 0.76, 1.33) vs. 1.50 (95% CI: 1.16, 1.93)]}.

These findings warrant additional research to confirm the associations in other populations.