Breathing problems resulting from air pollution and asthma can lead to more suicides that are not directly linked to psychiatric ailments, new research has revealed.

The studies, conducted by researchers in South Korea and Taiwan indicated that cardiovascular disease and pollution increased suicidal tendencies by nine percent with the risk doubling in asthma patients.

Researchers from the National Taiwan University in Taipei collected data from more than 163,000 adolescents. Upon analyzing the data, it was found that one in 14 suicides were attributable to asthma, a report published in the American Journal of Psychiatry says.

The research team led by Dr. Chian-Jue Kuo, argued that the findings of the study should help increase awareness about asthma and ensure that school and college staff and family members are adequately trained about supporting victims of asthmatic attacks.

Reacting to the findings, doctors at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, Seattle, felt that the findings were provocative of action, but felt that it was based on statistical modeling than a scientific one.

Research also showed that depression and anxiety disorders were more prominent amongst asthma patients, which could explain the higher rate of suicides and adolescents growing up with the pain of respiratory disease might find it interfering with their development.

Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine at Yonsei University College in Seoul, showed a direct correlation between air pollution measurements in cities of South Korea and the rate of suicide attempts.

Lead researcher Dr. Changsoo Kim, held the view that though the study found a higher rate of suicides in more polluted cities, the study has not managed to assess the reasons thereof. Overall, a transient increase in particulate matter was associated with increased suicide risk, especially for individuals with pre-existing cardio vascular disease.