Could your neigh­bour­hood af­fect risk of breast cancer?

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Vital Signs -

NEW RE­SEARCH has found a link be­tween ex­po­sure to green spa­ces, such as parks and gar­dens, and a re­duced risk of breast cancer in women. Con­ducted by the Barcelona In­sti­tute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an in­sti­tute sup­ported by the “la Caixa” Bank­ing Foun­da­tion, the study is one of the first to look at a pos­si­ble re­la­tion­ship be­tween prox­im­ity to green space and breast cancer, which is the main cause of cancer mor­tal­ity in women.

Re­searchers an­a­lysed data from 1,129 pa­tients with breast cancer and 1,619 par­tic­i­pants with no his­tory of the dis­ease living in ten Span­ish prov­inces. The re­searchers in­ter­viewed each par­tic­i­pant to gather in­for­ma­tion on their life­time res­i­den­tial his­tory, so­cio-eco­nomic level, life­style fac­tors and lev­els of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, with in­for­ma­tion on their prox­im­ity to ur­ban green spa­ces or agri­cul­tural ar­eas and ex­po­sure to air pol­lu­tion ob­tained by geo-cod­ing the res­i­den­tial ad­dress of each par­tic­i­pants.

The re­sults showed that there was a lin­ear cor­re­la­tion be­tween dis­tance from green spa­ces and breast cancer risk, with the risk de­clin­ing the closer a woman’s res­i­dence is to an ur­ban green space, like parks or gar­dens. How­ever, women living closer to agri­cul­tural ar­eas had a risk higher of the con­di­tion, a find­ing which sug­gests that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween green space and a risk of breast cancer is de­pen­dent on land use, say the re­searchers.

Although pre­vi­ous stud­ies have sug­gested that the as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween a higher risk of breast cancer and prox­im­ity to agri­cul­tural land may be due to the use of pes­ti­cides, this was not an­a­lysed in the cur­rent study. No link was found be­tween breast cancer risk and ex­po­sure to air pol­lu­tion. “We still don’t know which char­ac­ter­is­tics of nat­u­ral spa­ces are the most ben­e­fi­cial and nor do we un­der­stand the mech­a­nisms un­der­pin­ning these ben­e­fi­cial health im­pacts,” ex­plains ISGlobal re­searcher Mano­lis Ko­gev­inas. – Re­laxnews

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