Trees Linked to Human Health

by Sheela Philomena on  January 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Font : A-A+

A recent study conducted by researchers associated the presence of trees with human health. For Geoffrey Donovan, a research forester at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his colleagues, the loss of 100 million trees in the eastern and Midwestern United States was an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of a major change in the natural environment on human health.
 Trees Linked to Human Health
Trees Linked to Human Health

In an analysis of 18 years of data from 1,296 counties in 15 states, researchers found that Americans living in areas infested by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that kills ash trees, suffered from an additional 15,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 more deaths from lower respiratory disease when compared to uninfected areas.

When emerald ash borer comes into a community, city streets lined with ash trees become treeless.

The researchers analyzed demographic, human mortality, and forest health data at the county level between 1990 and 2007. The data came from counties in states with at least one confirmed case of the emerald ash borer in 2010.

The findings hold true after accounting for the influence of demographic differences, like income, race, and education.

"There's a natural tendency to see our findings and conclude that, surely, the higher mortality rates are because of some confounding variable, like income or education, and not the loss of trees," Donovan said.

"But we saw the same pattern repeated over and over in counties with very different demographic makeups," he said.

Although the study shows the association between loss of trees and human mortality from cardiovascular and lower respiratory disease, it did not prove a causal link. The reason for the association is yet to be determined.

The emerald ash borer was first discovered near Detroit, Michigan, in 2002. The borer attacks all 22 species of North American ash and kills virtually all of the trees it infests.

The study has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: ANI

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive