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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Analysis of Environmental Factors Impacting Health


Environmental health is becoming increasingly important in the broader context ofclimate change. This article aims to analyze the factors most impactful in determining human health, which was done by performing correlational analysis on a myriad of environmental factors. Each of these factors were evaluated by looking at counties or states as a whole and analyzing the strength of correlation between life expectancy in a county/state to a specific metric measuring environmental health, whether that be natural disasters, air quality, average temperature, exercise rate, water quality, walk score, or food security. The strength of correlation is in the form of an r-squared value, which is a metric that gives a measure of how much of a particular independent variable impacts the dependent variable, which here is life expectancy. The results show that lifestyle factors like food and exercise have a larger impact than expected, while factors such as air and water quality have a less significant impact than expected.

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