Clean air life extension

Improvements in urban air quality across 51 cities in the US could be responsible for an average increase in lifespan of 21 weeks, and may have added almost three years for some people, according to epidemiologist Arden Pope, and colleagues at Brigham Young University, Utah. Changes in tobacco smoking habits are the biggest factor to have increased American life expectancy followed by improved socioeconomic conditions, but air quality is a major factor too, Pope and his colleagues found. "It's stunning that the air pollution effect seems to be as robust as it is after controlling for these other things," Pope said.