Scientists from Edinburgh University have studied areas with green space such as parks and playing fields in urban neighbourhoods across the UK and compared the number of people who died from heart or lung conditions with people living in less green areas.
They found that men living in the greenest neighbourhoods were about 10 per cent less likely to die from lung problems than those with little green space, but there was no difference for women.
Research co-author Dr Elizabeth Richardson of the university's School of GeoSciences, said: "The study was about measuring any health benefits of green space, so we can't say for certain why we found the difference between men and women.
"We know from other studies that women tend to use green spaces less than men and are less likely to use them for exercise, particularly if the green space doesn't feel safe.
"Further work is needed to investigate this."