More greenery could have prevented 34,000 deaths in the US over the last 20 years, study shows

Research about the health benefits of nature and greenery keeps coming. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a new study that shows increasing the amount of urban greenspace could have prevented thousands of deaths.

Black lab puppy in raised bed garden
Viv's puppy, Ruby Mae, sits in an urban garden.
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Could more greenspace in U.S. cities reduce mortality for people living there? Results of a study from Boston University shows the answer could be yes. Potentially.

“We’ve known that living in greener areas can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health," says study lead author Paige Brochu, a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Health. "But there is a lack of data on how changes in greenness distribution can affect death rates across the country. Our study quantifies the impact of greenness expansion in urban areas and shows how increasing green vegetation could potentially add to a person’s life expectancy. Policymakers and urban planners can use this information to support local climate action plans and ensure that those plans include greening initiatives.”

The researchers say adding greenery to all cities might not be possible because of climate, water sources, urbanization, and landscape. But they add that city planners can use their study findings to look at making changes over time.

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.


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When information suggesting that he U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade leaked in May, internet searches about abortion drugs surged to an all-time high. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a study that explored the issue and shares what the researchers say people and healthcare providers should know.

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