ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
Sleep and Do Better
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
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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