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Suburban living can be hazardous to your health

Car-culture may be the culprit, say researchers

Suburban sprawl is linked to the incidence of many chronic health ailments – possibly owing to less time spent walking and more time spent in automobiles – according to a new RAND Corp. study issued this week. The findings suggest that an adult who lives in a more sprawling city such as Atlanta will have a health profile similar to someone four years older who lives in a more compact city such as Seattle, according to researchers. Researchers found that people who live in areas with a high degree of suburban sprawl are more likely to report chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, headaches and breathing difficulties than people who live in less sprawling areas. The differences between people living in the two types of areas remained even when researchers accounted for factors such as age, economic status, race and the local environment that might explain the differences, RAND Corp. reported. "This is the first study that analyzes suburban sprawl...