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Natural vegetation; the cause of longevity of women

Women who live close to natural vegetation live longer, compared to lowest level of greenery

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Apr 18 2016 2:31PM | Updated Date: Apr 18 2016 2:33PM

Natural vegetation; the cause of longevity of women

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


According to researchers, the highest level of vegetation around their houses has lead women stay longer with a 12 percent lower death rate. The results 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.


"It is important to know that trees and plants provide health benefits to our communities, as well as beauty," quoted by the researcher from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She further added in the paper published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. "The finding of reduced mortality suggests that vegetation may be important to health in a broad range of ways." 


The team scrutinized greenness around the homes of 1,08,630 women from 2000 to 2008 to explore how an environment with trees, shrubs and plants might lower mortality rates followed by the mapping of the home locations and using high resolution satellite imagery to determine the level of vegetation within 250 metres and 1,250 metres of homes.


"The ability to examine vegetation in relatively fine detail around so many homes, while also considering the characteristics of the individual participants, is a major strength of this study," said lead researcher from NIEHS.


Lower mortality rates in women were found by the researchers consistently as the level of trees and plants increased around their homes. 


Some of the strongest factors including improved mental health and social engagement have benefited women in a positive way, while increased physical activity and reduced air pollution also contributed, the study found.


Risk, such as age, race, ethnicity, smoking and socioeconomic status were also looked by the scientists at characteristics that can otherwise contribute to mortality rate. This enabled them to be more confident that vegetation plays a major role in reduced mortality.