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More Foot Power, Less Car Pollution Best for Health
Date:11/27/2009

o 7,140 fewer deaths per year); cerebrovascular disease (11 percent to 25 percent reduction resulting in 1,270 to 3,650 fewer deaths per year); and diabetes (6 percent to 17 percent reduction resulting in 150 to 460 fewer deaths per year). There would also be reductions in acute respiratory infections in children, lung cancer and depression, the researchers found.

"Important health gains and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved through replacement of urban trips in private motor vehicles with active travel," wrote James Woodcock, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues. "Technological measures to reduce vehicle pollutants might reduce emissions, but the health effect would be smaller."

The researchers added that an "increase in the safety, convenience and comfort of walking and cycling, and a reduction in the attractiveness of private motor vehicle use (speed, convenience and cost) are essential to achieve" a major switch to active travel in cities.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about walking.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Nov. 27, 2009


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