Depression among chronic arsenic exposure patients in Shampur Upazila, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

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Research Paper 06/04/2023
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Depression among chronic arsenic exposure patients in Shampur Upazila, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Md Fajlul Kabir Bhuiyan, Masud Rana, Mohammad Firoz Alam
Int. J. Biosci.22( 4), 55-63, April 2023.
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Abstract

Multiple studies suggest that as a toxicant arsenic can adversely affect the growth of human brain and neural functions even when it is present with a permissible limit. This study suggests a hypothesis that four to eight weeks of sub-chronic arsenic exposure (10 mg/L arsenic in drinking water) can cause or increase anxiety and depression-like behaviours. This cross-sectional comparative study was carried out among the 54 participants of Shampur Upazila, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. The study was conducted between 2019 to 2022. The depression levels were assessed using Zung depression scale. The researcher himself collected primary data from the patients of chronic arsenic exposure at Shampur village, Rajshahi, who were using arsenic-containing tube-well water as the source of drinking water, through an in-person interview in a partly structured questionnaire. It was found that the relationship between depression and drinking water source, consumption of arsenic-contaminated water, and level of depression was statistically significant. Chronic arsenic exposure can cause depressive illness. Depression is common in chronic arsenic exposure patients. So attempts should be made to ensure arsenic-free water.

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