A new study by the US Forest Service draws a link between the presence of trees and human health. A report titled “The Relationship between Trees and Human Health,” was recently printed in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine[pdf].
According to Science Daily, researchers analyzed 18 years of data from nearly 13-hundred counties in 15 states. They looked at locations where infestations of emerald ash borers had decimated the trees in the region. According to Forest Service researcher Geoffrey Donovan, Americans living in areas of tree blight had higher rates of cardiovascular disease and lower respiratory disease when compared to uninfected areas.
Donovan said that it could have been tempting to conclude some other factor in the higher mortality rates, such as income, or education. But, he said, the researchers saw the same patterns repeated over and over in counties with very different demographic make-ups.