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People who have been living away from green spaces for a long time are prone to conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, which could lead to even deaths, according to a recent study.
The study which will soon be published in the Journal of Public Health, suggests that air pollution may be associated with an increased risk for dangerous conditions like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Certain cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death in developing countries. Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of cardiovascular diseases. Metabolic syndrome is further associated with abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, and higher blood glucose levels.
These conditions are associated with a higher risk for various health problems. The causes of these disorders are complex and are related to genetic factors, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors including traffic air pollution, traffic noise, residential housing, and neighbourhood quality.
Researchers investigated the associations between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and residential distance to green spaces and major roads with the development of hypertension and some components of metabolic syndrome. These associations were assessed among people living in private houses or multi-story houses in Kaunas City, a city of 280,000 and the second largest city of Lithuania.
In the present study, researchers investigated the association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and the residential distance to green spaces and major roads with the development of hypertension and some components of metabolic syndrome. These components included: a high triglyceride level, reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, higher blood glucose, and obesity. The associations were assessed among people who lived in either private or multifamily houses.
The results indicated that air pollution levels above the median are associated with a higher risk of reduced high-density lipoprotein. Traffic-related exposure was associated with the incidence of hypertension, higher triglyceride level and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, the negative impact of traffic air pollutants was observed only in the participants who lived in multifamily buildings.
"Our research results enable us to say that we should regulate as much as possible the living space for one person in multifamily houses, improve the noise insulation of apartments, and promote the development of green spaces in multifamily houses," said the study's lead author, Agne Braziene.
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