Benefits Of Green Spaces On Cancer Mortality
Today more than 50% of the population is concentrated in urban areas – where exposure to environmental hazards, reduced physical activity and limited access to nature are prevalent –, and it is estimated that by 2050 the proportion will be 70%. This reflects a reality that has never been seen before in human history: almost half of the population lives far from nature. More and more studies are linking contact with green spaces with health benefits. A recently published paper in the prestigious journal Environment International (Rodriguez-Loureiro et al., 2022) has studied the association between the residential green spaces and cancer mortality. More than 2,400,000 residents from the largest Belgian urban areas were followed for 13 years. After adjusting for individual sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables, the findings suggested that residing in green areas could decrease mortality risk from lung and breast cancer, with the benefits being greater for younger people (<65 years). Cancer is a public health problem of utmost importance. Getting back in touch with nature could help to mitigate some of its harmful effects. According to the evidence, this involves prioritising the creation of new green spaces within urban areas.
Author: Javier S. Morales, UCA
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