Americans are living longer because the air they breathe is getting cleaner, a new study suggests. The average drop in pollution seen across 51 metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2000 appears to have added nearly five more months to people’s lives, according to a study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of MedicinResidents of cities that did the best job cleaning up air pollution showed the biggest jump in life span; for example, Pittsburgh’s clearer air meant people there could expect to live nearly 10 months longer. …
Long-term exposure to dirty air — specifically, the tiny specks known as fine-particulate air pollution — shortens lives and contributes to cardiovascular and lung disease. Particulate matter is inhaled almost like a gas and is thought to hike blood pressure, heart attack risk, and the chance of heart disease-related death.
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommends that heart patients avoid driving for two to three weeks after leaving the hospital to avoid pollution (and stress). Other research has suggested that a nonsmoker living in a polluted city has about the same risk of dying of heart disease as a former smoker. Health.com: 5 ways to keep pollution from harming your heart.
Some things suggested by Health.com:
“a meat-free diet, exercises regularly, and meditates to lower his stress … avoid driving.
1. Take a vacation, 2. Take a “staycation”, 3. Avoid heavily polluted areas, 4. Consider where you live, 5. Consider where you work.