Researchers have found that heart disease patients live longer in ‘greener’ environments

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.Credit: Tel Aviv University

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.Credit: Tel Aviv University

In a long-term study published in the journal epidemiologyResearchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) found that a lush environment, most likely full of plants, and a patient after undergoing bypass surgery, which is considered a traumatic event from both a physical and psychological perspective, We investigated the association with mortality in patients with coronary heart disease. side.

The study, conducted on thousands of patients living across Israel and followed for more than 10 years, found that survival rates for heart disease patients who underwent bypass surgery were lower than those living in green areas. was found to be significantly higher than People who don’t have much greenery in their living environment.

Professor Rachel Dankner of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, said, “This study is based on a database that was built at the Gartner Institute about 20 years ago for another study.” . : 3,128 heart patients who underwent bypass surgery between 2004 and 2007 at seven Israeli medical centers from Haifa to Beersheba.

“Using Home Office data, we found that by 2021, 1,442 (46%) of them died from a variety of causes. We wanted to find out to what extent patients post-surgery are associated with the amount of green vegetation in their area. ”

For the purpose of this study, the researchers cross-referenced patient address data with data from NASA’s Landsat satellite. Landsat satellites image the Earth and can identify green colors within an area of ​​up to 30×30 with very high resolution. Vegetation can be identified even within urban areas, as it is several meters away from residential addresses.

The researchers worked to accurately calculate the amount of greenery in a radius of up to 300 meters around each patient’s address and compared this number to the patient’s date of death or survival over a 14-year period from the date of surgery. .

They analyzed the data, including adjusting for a variety of variables, such as age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, urgency of hospitalization (elective, semi-elective, or emergency surgery), and whether or not they lived in the surrounding area. We performed detailed statistical analysis. /Living distance from the center, air pollution and the Mediterranean Sea. Approximately 90% of study participants lived in urban areas, 80% in the coastal plain from the center to Haifa, 15% in the Jerusalem area, and 5% in the southern Beersheba area.

PhD student Maya Sadeh said, “When we divided patients’ residential addresses into three groups according to the amount of surrounding vegetation, we found a significant association between a green environment and patient survival.” “We found a clear and significant association between gender and, therefore, the number of patients surviving.” They continued to live for years after surgery.

“The results showed that over an average of 12 years after surgery, those who lived in very green environments had an average 7% lower risk of dying than those who lived in less green environments. This beneficial relationship was found to be more pronounced among women, who comprised 23% of the cohort and were older at the time of surgery (mean 69.5 years) compared to men (63.8 years). ”

Researchers concluded, “In this study, we looked at survival rates in coronary heart patients after undergoing bypass surgery and found that living in a greener environment was associated with improved survival rates.” We hypothesize that there are a variety of reasons for this: in greener environments, people breathe cleaner air, engage in more physical activity, and the atmosphere is calmer; Improves overall quality of life.

“The findings may be particularly relevant during the current period in Israel, suggesting that exposure to green environments may be a beneficial factor in recovery from trauma.”

The research was carried out by Sade under the guidance of Professor Dankner and Professor Alexandra Chudnovsky from the TAU Porter School of Environment and Earth Sciences. Also participating were Nir Furman from the Porter School, Nirit Agei and Arnona Ziv from the Gaertner Institute for Epidemiology at Sheba Medical Center, Ilan Levy from the Department of Environmental Protection, and Professor Michael Brauer from the University of British Columbia. There is. Canada. This study was supported by the Environmental Health Fund and the Israel Science Foundation.

For more information:
Maya Sadeh et al, Home greening and long-term mortality among patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, epidemiology (2023). DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001687

Magazine information:
epidemiology

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