Having a garden and living in a leafy neighbourhood reduces the risk of having a stroke or developing dementia, study finds

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Living in a leafy neighbourhood dramatically lowers the risk of having a stroke, research reveals.

People with gardens or access to green spaces are also 13 per cent less likely to develop dementia.

Reduced air pollution is a major reason, says the study of 420,000 Britons with an average age of 55.

Researchers examined 12 years of health data on strokes, dementia and deaths and compared it with people’s nearness to green space within 300 metres of homes.

Over this period, 8,568 were diagnosed with stroke and 5,648 with dementia. Some developed dementia following a stroke.

People with gardens or access to green spaces are also 13 per cent less likely to develop dementia (stock image)

Researchers examined 12 years of health data on strokes, dementia and deaths and compared it with people's nearness to green space within 300 metres of homes (stock image)

Researchers examined 12 years of health data on strokes, dementia and deaths and compared it with people’s nearness to green space within 300 metres of homes (stock image)

Those with the most green space had the lowest risks. They were eight per cent less likely to have a stroke and 14 per cent less likely to die. There was also a 26 per cent lower risk of stokes progressing to dementia.

Trees and other vegetation absorb and filter out air pollution, which contributes to 21 per cent of stroke deaths, research cited by the Stroke Association shows.

Greenery may also cut depression and boost outdoor activities, further reducing risk of stroke.

The research by Peking University School of Public Health was reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

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