Living around green spaces checks diabetes, BP

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New York, April 23 (IANS) A five-10 minute walk in your neighbourhood park can elevate your oxygen levels but if you aim for overall health, try living amid greenery as it can reduce chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorders among the elderly.

The findings revealed that higher levels of greenness around homes is associated with a significantly lower risk of chronic diseases — a 14-percent risk reduction for diabetes, a 13-percent reduction for hypertension and a 10-percent reduction for lipid disorders.

“This study builds on our research group’s earlier analyses showing block-level impacts of mixed-use and supportive building features on adults and children,” said lead study author Scott Brown from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in the US.

The researchers analysed 2010-2011 health data of nearly 2,50,000 participants over age 65 and a measure of vegetative presence based on NASA satellite imagery.

“Going from a low to a high level of greenness at the block level is associated with 49 fewer chronic health conditions per 1,000 residents, which is approximately equivalent to a reduction in the biomedical ageing of the study population by three years,” Brown added in the paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The findings “illuminate the vital role of parks and greens to health and well-being and point to the critical need for a holistic approach in planning that draws on research”, stated Jack Kardys from Miami-Dade County Department of Parks in the US.

The research adds to the evidence that higher levels of greenness is associated with better health outcomes.

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