UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Chinese citizens wanting to live longer may want to head south.
A new study suggests air pollution in the northern part of the country causes residents there to live an average of three years less than their southern counterparts.
Researchers said air pollution in the north increases cases of certain illnesses, including lung cancer and stroke.
The study looked at air quality information in more than 150 cities between 1981 and 2012.
Data revealed pollution levels were up 46 percent north of the Huai River, which geographically separates the country’s north and south.
The findings were published on Sept. 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Northern China is often choked with smog during colder months since many households still burn coal for heating.
Last month, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced it would ramp up its pollution crackdown on 28 northern cities this winter to hit its annual air quality target.