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Stress more likely if you live in the city

City dwelling residents are more likely to suffer from stress than those that live in the countryside, a new study has found. Scientists believe it is ...

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|Jun 24|magazine6 min read

City dwelling residents are more likely to suffer from stress than those that live in the countryside, a new study has found.

Scientists believe it is because the brains of people that live in urban locations are ‘wired’ differently to those that live in rural areas and respond to stress differently.

The findings provide an explanation as to why there are higher incidences of stress, anxiety and depression among people residing in a city.

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The research, which was conducted by a team of international scientists, found that city dwellers put higher levels of stress on amygdala, something which regulates emotions and moods.

Meanwhile, the cingulate cortex is the area of the brain used by countryside residents and it is something which is used to regulate stress levels.

The study was a collaboration of efforts between the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Quebec and the University of Heidleberg in Germany.

Dr Jens Pruessner, from the Douglas Metal Health University said: “Previous findings have shown that the risk for anxiety disorders is 21 percent higher for people from the city, who also have a 39 percent increase for mood disorders.”

“In addition, the incidence of schizophrenia is almost doubled for individuals born and brought up in cities. These values are a cause for concern,” he added.

The researchers believe that pollution, crowds and noise could be contributory factors to increased city stress levels.

However, they did say that a larger study would need to be carried out to confirm the findings.

The results of the research have been published in the journal Nature