ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Countdown to Hair Loss
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
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Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor

THURSDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Health inequalities between rich and poor people are much lower in areas that have lots of green space, such as parks, forests and playing fields, a large British study finds.

Dr. Richard Mitchell, of the University of Glasgow, and his colleagues noted that previous studies have shown that the presence of green space has an independent beneficial effect on health and health-related behaviors. They wanted to examine whether access to green space might also affect income-related health disparities.

Mitchell and his team looked at the almost 41 million people in England below retirement age and obtained individual death records for 366,348 people to determine the association between exposure to green space, income, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific death (circulatory disease, lung cancer and suicide) from 2001 to 2005.

In areas with the most green space, the health gap between the richest and poorest people was about half as large as that in the least green areas -- an incident rate ratio (IRR) of 1.93 in the least green and 1.43 in the most green. IRR is a measure of how much higher the rate of death is among the poorest, when compared with that among the richest.

The difference in IRR for circulatory disease was even larger -- 2.19 in the least green areas and 1.54 in the most green. The amount of green space had no effect on deaths caused by lung cancer or suicide.

"The implications of this study are clear: Environments that promote good health might be crucial in the fight to reduce health inequalities," Mitchell and colleagues concluded.

The study was published in this week's special issue of The Lancet, which focuses on social determinants of health.

"This study offers valuable evidence that green space does more than pretty up a neighborhood; it appears to have real effects on health inequality, of a kind that politicians and health authorities should take seriously," Dr. Terry Hartig, of the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote in an accompanying comment on the study.

Another British study in the same issue of The Lancet found that best-practice interventions could eliminate most socioeconomic disparities in coronary heart disease deaths. Best practice interventions include: reduction of systolic blood pressure by 10mm/Hg, of cholesterol by 2mmol/L, and of blood glucose by 1mmol/L in pre-diabetic people; halving the presence of non-insulin dependent diabetes; and quitting smoking.

The researchers looked at 17,186 male civil servants, aged 40 to 69, and found that the 15-year risk of death due to coronary heart disease per 100 men was 11 for men with low-grade employment and 7.5 for men with high-grade employment. The researchers calculated that best-practice interventions would reduce overall coronary heart disease deaths by 57 percent and the difference in deaths between socioeconomic groups by 69 percent.

"Our results suggest that current best-practice interventions to reduce classic coronary risk factors, if successfully implemented in both high and low socioeconomic groups, could eliminate most of the socioeconomic differences in coronary heart disease mortality," concluded Professor Mika Kivimaki, of University College London, and colleagues.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has more about income and health.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Nov. 7, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 06, 2008

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