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If you have lived near a park, you will have 71 reduced risk of asthma, says study

This new study says that if in your childhood you've lived within 100 metres of a park, then as an adult, you will have lesser chances of getting asthma.

We used to play in the parks near our house as kids but didn t know that those playtimes could benefit us as adults. However, a new study has just cropped up to prove that growing up near a park cuts a person's risk of developing asthma in adulthood.

A team of researchers from the Haukeland University Hospital Norway has found that those who lived within 100 metres of 'green spaces' as children are up to 71 per cent less likely to develop the characteristic asthma symptom wheezing. The researchers also discovered they were also less likely to develop breathlessness, coughs that woke them up or late-onset asthma.

Lead author Dr Ingrid Nordeide Kuiper said in the study, We found exposure to greenness during childhood was associated with fewer respiratory symptoms in adulthood. While exposure to air pollutants was associated with more respiratory symptoms and late onset asthma.

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For the study, the team accumulated data from 5,415 people, aged between 18 and 52, from four cities in Sweden. And analysed the participants who had experienced severe wheezing with breathlessness in the past one year. They also looked at those who were diagnosed with asthma after 10 years old.

The team also recorded symptoms like chest tightness, being woken by a cough, suffering an asthma attack and taking asthma medication. Satellite images were used to determine how 'green' the 100-metre zone was around the homes the participants lived in from birth to 18.

The team then collected air pollution data to check the participants exposure to PM2.5, PM10 and nitrogen dioxide. At the end of the study, the results suggested that exposure to PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide increased a person's risk of developing late-onset asthma by between six and 22 per cent.

As far as PM10 was concerned, it also raised the risk of respiratory symptoms. But exposure to greenness before the age of 10 lowered the risk of wheeze by 71 per cent, they found.

According to Dr Kuiper, policy makers and those who plan a city should use these data to help improve public health by ensuring access to green areas.

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