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Pollen linked to rising suicide rate

Pedestrians make their way along a street in Beijing as white pollen falls from the trees
Pedestrians make their way along a street in Beijing as white pollen falls from the trees
AFP/Getty Images

According to a study published in the BMJ journals, pollen is a potential explanation or reason for the seasonal effects on suicide rates.

Researches found a significant correlation between the amount of pollen and suicide count, although the effect was not yet significantly huge, but enough to take notice.

The study found “the effect of pollen was found to be the strongest on people who already had mood disorders or who have been previously diagnosed with depression.” Researchers weren’t able to find the exact cause yet, but remain dedicated to learning more of this rising phenomenon, but do suggest that pollen may trigger an allergic inflammatory condition, that signals molecules called cytokines, and it’s the cytokines that affects people who’re already prone to mood swings.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have taken notice and reported that the suicide rate among people ages 45 to 54 have continued to increase. People of ages from 25 to 34, and 35 to 44 have actually increased slower than the age group from 45 to 54. But since 2001, people in the age range from 45 to 54 have had the highest rates of suicide.

In places like Atlanta, where the pollen count consistently passes 1,500 each year in Spring (anything above 1,500 is considered extremely high), Atlantans need to pay more attention to their birch, cedar, oak, and sweetgum trees. In Atlanta, where the pollen count can spike to 2,722 from just the day before, and then double to over 4,000 the next day the city of Atlanta has gained the nickname, ‘Pollen Blizzard’ with the yellow and green pollen covered on cars and everywhere else.