Living near green spaces protects children's lungs

Should live near green spaces to preserve the lungs of children? Yes, according to Norwegian researchers who have recently looked into the matter.

As parents or future parents, it is natural to wish the best for your child. And his health is paramount. That's why many families with young children choose to go green and leave the big cities to escape pollution, which is responsible for many respiratory diseases.

But does living near green spaces have a real impact on the respiratory health of our children? This question was asked by researchers at the Haukeland University Hospital (Norway) who presented their work at the European Respiratory Society Congress held this week in Paris.

The researchers analyzed data from 5,415 participants aged 18 to 52 from Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Estonia. The study also collects information on exposure to air pollution from birth to age 18, including exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and particulate matter. nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 4,414 participants.

29% less risk of developing respiratory diseases

The authors of this work observed the participants' health data to determine subjects who had respiratory problems such as wheezing, chronic cough, asthma after age 10, and sensation of dizziness. chest tightness upon awakening.

Their results showed that adults who lived near green spaces during their childhood are less likely to develop these respiratory disorders. Conversely, children exposed daily to fine particles are more exposed to respiratory diseases in adulthood.

"These are preliminary results but we found that exposure to green spaces during childhood was associated with fewer respiratory symptoms in adulthood, while exposure to air pollutants during childhood was associated to more respiratory symptoms in adulthood, "says Ingrid Nordeide Kuiper, lead actress of the study.

In Estonia, people who regularly rubbed shoulders with green spaces before the age of ten were 71% less likely to develop wheezing. On average, subjects have a 29% lower risk of developing respiratory symptoms between the ages of 11 and 18 years.

"We need to analyze these results in more detail before drawing definitive conclusions, but it is possible that our results will allow us to significantly expand our long-term knowledge of the effects of air pollution. and green spaces, "concludes Ingrid Nordeide Kuiper.