THE IMPACT OF URBANISATION ON MENTAL HEALTH: Edited by Christopher P. SzaboCurrent evidence on urbanicity and the impact of neighbourhoods on anxiety and stress-related disordersVentimiglia, Ilaria; Seedat, Soraya Author Information Psychiatry Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy Correspondence to Soraya Seedat, Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town 7530, South Africa. E-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: May 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 248-253 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000496 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To synthesize recent knowledge on the association of urbanization (and neighbourhood factors) and anxiety and stress-related disorders. Recent findings The quality of urban neighbourhoods and neighbourhood factors – physical (e.g. green space), social (e.g. social cohesion) and biological (e.g. stress response) factors – are directly linked to the presence and severity of anxiety disorders, although data on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are pauce. Preliminary data indicate that architectural and space design elements in PTSD can either increase anxiety and lead to trauma triggers or relieve symptoms and reinforce safety. In addition, there is emerging evidence that being raised in urban environments with a wide range of microbial exposure dampens the immune response to psychosocial stressors. Summary Evidence points to a higher prevalence of anxiety disorders and PTSD in urban environments. Current research is focused on the role of neighbourhood factors in prevention and treatment. Few studies have assessed comprehensive treatment models in urban populations and the potential moderating role of these factors on treatment outcomes. Several lines of inquiry are starting to address how urban living impacts on biological stress regulation pathways. As urbanization continues, improved understanding of urban mental health is central to informing mental health promotion policies. Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.