The relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and schizophrenia severity

  • Rika Eguchi
  • Daisuke Onozuka
  • Kouji Ikeda
  • Kenji Kuroda
  • Ichiro Ieiri
  • Akihito Hagihara
Original Article



Although particulate matter (PM) is reported to affect the rate of emergency admissions for schizophrenia, no study has examined the relationship between particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) and the severity of schizophrenia.


We obtained data on patients with schizophrenia at a psychiatric hospital, and on air pollution in Sakai, Japan between Feb 1, 2013 and April 30, 2016. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the relationship between PM2.5 concentrations and scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) of schizophrenia patients at admission, with a lag of up to 7 days.


During the study period, there were 1193 schizophrenia cases. The odds ratio (OR) for a BPRS score ≥ 50 at admission was 1.05 [95% confidence interval 1.00–1.10] and the effect of PM2.5 concentration was significant for lag period of 2 days. The ORs associated with PM2.5 concentration increased substantially for patients over 65 years of age.


Ambient PM2.5 concentration was associated with exacerbation of schizophrenia. Our results suggest that protection for several days should be considered for controlling PM2.5-related schizophrenia, especially among elderly patients.


Schizophrenia PM2.5 BPRS Psychiatric severity Lag effect 



We would like to thank Dr. Takeru Abe (Yokohama City University) for prior arrangements and generous support during the course of this research.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.

Supplementary material

420_2018_1311_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 18 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Services Management and PolicyKyushu University Graduate School of MedicineFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PharmacokineticsKyushu University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical ScienceFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Hannan HospitalSakaiJapan

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