London, Jan 22 (ANI): The cleaner the air you breathe, the longer you will live, says a new study, which found that reduced air pollution in American cities over recent decades has added an average of five months of life to their inhabitants.
The study, conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health, has been published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research showed that average life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities increased nearly three years over recent decades, and approximately five months of that increase came thanks to cleaner air.
"Such a significant increase in life expectancy attributable to reducing air pollution is remarkable," said C. Arden Pope III, a BYU epidemiologist and lead author of the study.
"We find that we're getting a substantial return on our investments in improving our air quality. Not only are we getting cleaner air that improves our environment, but it is improving our public health," the researcher added.
To reach the conclusion, scientists matched two sets of data from 51 cities across the nation: changes in air pollution between about 1980 and about 2000; and residents' life expectancies during those years.
The scientists applied advanced statistical models to account for other factors that could affect average life spans, such as changes in population, income, education, migration, demographics and cigarette smoking.
In cities that had previously been the most polluted and cleaned up the most, the cleaner air added approximately 10 months to the average resident's life.
On average, Americans were living 2.72 years longer at the end of the two-decade study period; up to five months, or 15 percent, of that increase came because of reduced air pollution. (ANI)