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Studies: Fighting global warming reduces diseases

Courtesy: Canterbury District Health Board

Courtesy: Canterbury District Health Board

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cutting global warming pollution would not only make the planet healthier, it would make people healthier too.

That's according to U.S. and world officials who are releasing studies that calculate the health benefits of a less sickly climate.

The studies suggest slashing carbon dioxide emissions could save millions of lives, mostly by reducing preventable deaths from heart and lung diseases.

The calculations of lives saved were based on computer models that looked at pollution-caused illnesses in certain cities. Researchers concede the figures are also based on the world making dramatic changes in daily life that may at first seem too hard and costly to do.

Instead of looking at the health ills caused by future global warming, as past studies have done, this research looks at the immediate benefits of doing something about the problem.

The studies are published in today's special issue of The Lancet British medical journal.

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