Associations between greenspace and mortality vary across contexts of community change: a longitudinal ecological study

Hartig, T., Astell-Burt, T., Bergsten, Z., Amcoff, J., Mitchell, R. and Feng, X. (2020) Associations between greenspace and mortality vary across contexts of community change: a longitudinal ecological study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, (doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-213443) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Background: Concerns about loss of greenspace with urbanisation motivate much research on nature and health; however, contingency of greenspace-health associations on the character of community change remains understudied. Methods: With aggregate data from governmental sources for 1432 Swedish parishes, we used negative binomial regression to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality during 2000–2008 in relation to percentage area (in 2000) of urban residential greenspace, urban parks and rural greenspace, looking across parishes with decrease, stability or increase in population density. We also assessed interactions between land use and population change. Results: Parishes with >1 decile increase in population density had lower incidence of all-cause (IRR=0.91, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.95) and CVD mortality (IRR=0.89, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.94) compared with parishes with stable populations. In stable parishes, all-cause mortality was lower with higher percentages of urban green (IRR=0.998, 95% CI 0.996 to 1.000) and rural green land uses (IRR=0.997, 95% CI 0.996 to 0.999). These results were inverted in densifying parishes; higher all-cause mortality attended higher initial percentages of urban (IRR=1.081, 95% CI 1.037 to 1.127) and rural greenspace (IRR=1.042, 95% CI 1.007 to 1.079) as measured in 2000. Similar associations held for CVD mortality. Conclusions: More greenspace was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality in communities with relatively stable populations. In densifying communities, population growth per se may reduce mortality, but it may also entail harm through reductions in amount per capita and/or quality of greenspace.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Rich
Authors: Hartig, T., Astell-Burt, T., Bergsten, Z., Amcoff, J., Mitchell, R., and Feng, X.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
ISSN (Online):1470-2738
Published Online:04 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020
First Published:First published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727621SPHSU Core Renewal: Neighbourhoods and Communities Research ProgrammeAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/10IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
SPHSU10