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Long-term exposure to greenspace and metabolic syndrome: A Whitehall II study

de Keijzer, C; Basagaña, X; Tonne, C; Valentín, A; Alonso, J; Antó, JM; Nieuwenhuijsen, MJ; ... Dadvand, P; + view all (2019) Long-term exposure to greenspace and metabolic syndrome: A Whitehall II study. Environmental Pollution , 255 (Pt 2) , Article 113231. 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113231. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Metabolic syndrome is an important risk factor for non-communicable diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Long-term exposure to greenspace could be protective of metabolic syndrome, but evidence for such an association is lacking. Accordingly, we investigated the association between long-term exposure to greenspace and risk of metabolic syndrome. METHODS The present longitudinal study was based on data from four clinical examinations between 1997 and 2013 in 6076 participants of the Whitehall II study, UK (aged 45–69 years at baseline). Long-term exposure to greenspace was assessed by satellite-based indices of greenspace including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Vegetation Continuous Field (VCF) averaged across buffers of 500 and 1000 m surrounding the participants’ residential location at each follow-up. The ascertainment of metabolic syndrome was based on the World Health Organization (WHO) definition. Hazard ratios for metabolic syndrome were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models, controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, lifestyle factors, and socioeconomic status. RESULTS Higher residential surrounding greenspace was associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome. An interquartile range increase in NDVI and VCF in the 500 m buffer was associated with 13% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1%, 23%) and 14% (95% CI: 5%, 22%) lower risk of metabolic syndrome, respectively. Greater exposure to greenspace was also associated with each individual component of metabolic syndrome, including a lower risk of high levels of fasting glucose, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension. The association between residential surrounding greenspace and metabolic syndrome may have been mediated by physical activity and exposure to air pollution. CONCLUSIONS The findings of the present study suggest that middle-aged and older adults living in greener neighbourhoods are at lower risk of metabolic syndrome than those living in neighbourhoods with less greenspace.

Type: Article
Title: Long-term exposure to greenspace and metabolic syndrome: A Whitehall II study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113231
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113231
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Built environment, Cardiometabolic risk, Greenness, Longitudinal study, Metabolic syndrome, Natural environment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087756
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