A study has found that women who live close to natural vegetation live longer than women with the lowest levels of greenery near their houses.

According to researchers, women with the highest levels of vegetation around their houses had a 12 percent lower death rate. The findings showed 41 percent lower death rate for kidney disease, 34 percent lower death rate for respiratory disease, and 13 percent lower death rate for cancer in the greenest areas.

The team examined greenness around the homes of 108,630 women to explore how an environment with trees, shrubs and plants might lower mortality rates. They then mapped their home locations and used high-resolution satellite imagery to determine the level of vegetation within 250 metres and 1,250 metres of homes. Improved mental health and social engagement are believed to be the strongest factors, while increased physical activity and reduced air pollution also contribute, the study found.

Linda Birnbaum from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US, said, “It is important to know that trees and plants provide health benefits to our communities, as well as beauty. The finding of reduced mortality suggests that vegetation may be important to health in a broad range of ways.”

Source: The Economic Times

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