People who live in neighborhoods with green spaces have less stress, healthier blood vessels and lower risk of heart attack and stroke

People who live in neighborhoods with more green spaces may have less stress, healthier blood vessels and a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Residential greenness is associated with lower levels of sympathetic activation, reduced oxidative stress, and higher angiogenic capacity. This is independent of age, sex, race, smoking status, neighborhood deprivation, statin use, and roadway exposure.

For this study (see the link below), researchers tested for a variety of biomarkers of stress and heart disease risk in blood and urine samples from 408 patients at a cardiology clinic in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Residents of the greenest neighborhoods had lower urinary levels of the hormone epinephrine, indicating lower stress levels, and lower urinary levels a marker of oxidative stress known as F2-isoprostane.

Green space might encourage more physical activity. A higher density of trees and shrubs may also improve air quality by reducing levels of some air pollutants.

Annemarie Hirsch, an environmental health researcher at Geisinger in Danville, Pennsylvania: "Green spaces can also increase the sense of social cohesion, a factor that has been associated with health and wellbeing, by facilitating interaction with neighbors.

Green space may also provide a barrier to stressful environmental features, including traffic noise and displeasing structures. At the same time, green space has been described as restorative, blocking negative thoughts and feelings and thus reducing stress.”

Sounds wonderful!

Interventions that promote longevity, remembered by mnemonic: DEEP purple - “eat colorful plant foods: Dietary modification, Exercise, active Engagement, Purposeful living (click here to enlarge the image).


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