Urbanisation processes and anthropogenic actions led to a significant increase in pollution levels, with relevant consequences on global health. In particular, noise pollution demonstrated an association with cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory diseases. Furthermore, increasing evidence underlined the possible role of air and noise pollution in the development of psychiatric disorders. In this narrative review, evidence concerning the relationship between noise pollution and the emergence of psychiatric symptoms or psychiatric disorders is summarised. After the literature search process was completed, 40 papers were included in the present review. The exposure to road-, rail-, and air- traffic represented a risk factor for the emergence of affective disorders. This could also be mediated by the occurrence of circadian rhythms disturbances or by noise annoyance and noise sensitivity, both influencing psychological well-being and health-related quality of life. Fewer studies concentrated on special populations, particularly pregnant women and children, for whom noise pollution was confirmed as a risk factor for psychopathology. The better clarification of the complex interaction between noise pollution and mental health may help to identify subjects at risk and targeting specific prevention and intervention strategies in the urban environment.
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