Researchers assess the risk of mental illness among coal miners

According to a newly published report in JAMA, mental illness is a significant health problem facing coal miners.

Conducted by an American team of researchers at the University of Virginia, the study is said to be the largest of its kind.

“Studies outside of the United States have found a high risk of mental illness among coal miners,” the study reads. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe the prevalence of and risk factors for mental illness among a large population of US coal miners.”

The study was initiated in accordance with the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guideline, with data racked up for a span of two years, from mid-2018 through mid-2020.

Researchers uncovered that mental illness significantly impacts the health of coal miners, with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, common among a portion of participants studied.

“Increased assessment of and treatment for unmet mental health needs should be considered for all active and former coal miners,” the study determined.

“Further study is needed to investigate other risk factors for mental illness in this population, including economic security, substance use disorders, and workplace safety.”

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