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Why should people live near green spaces?

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London, Sep 27 (IANS) Middle-aged and older adults that live in greener neighbourhoods were at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces, a new study said.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and include obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar levels and abnormal fat levels.

“The study found more health benefits in those areas with higher tree coverage, which provides a basis for investigating the types of vegetation that impact positively on our health,” said study author Payam Dadvand from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

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In this study, the researchers examined the link with metabolic syndrome as a whole, providing an indicator of overall cardiometabolic health, and in the long-term.

The longitudinal study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults, aged between 45-69 from the UK.

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Participants underwent four examinations over 14 years (1997-2013), with a series of tests including blood analysis, blood pressure and waist circumference measurements.

Residential greenness was determined by satellite images.

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These findings suggest that long-term exposure to green spaces could play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension.

The association observed was higher for women than for men.

The study showed that people living in greener areas have slower cognitive decline. Less stress, greater longevity, or a better overall and mental health are other benefits proved by scientific studies.

–IANS

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