6 Ways in Which Where You Live Affects Your Health
What the research says: You may be at increased risk of heart trouble. Looking at data on more than 107,000 women, researchers found that for each 100 meters (or 328 feet) closer they lived to a major roadway (think more than one lane in each direction), their risk of sudden cardiac death increased by 6 percent. "Looking at the population as a whole, living close to a roadway is just as big of a health risk factor as smoking, poor diet or obesity," lead author Jaime Hart, ScD, assistant professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in an email. And it's not just the obvious problem of vehicle exhaust hanging in the air. A 2015 study in European Heart Journal found that long-term exposure to road-traffic noise was linked to a small increase in risk of cardiac-related death.