Residential neighbourhood greenspace is associated with reduced risk of incident diabetes in older people: a prospective cohort studyReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 16:1171

Environmental health


BackgroundThree cross sectional studies suggest that neighbourhood greenspace may protect against incident diabetes. This study uses data from a longitudinal study with a large sample size to investigate the association between greenspace and the occurrence of incident diabetes over time.

MethodsData was from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer Norfolk, UK, cohort, recruitment 1993–2007 N = 23,865. Neighbourhoods were defined as 800 m circular buffers around participants’ home locations, according to their home postcode zip code. Greenspace exposure was defined as the percentage of the home neighbourhood that was woodland, grassland, arable land, mountain, heath and bog, according to the UK Land Cover Map. Cox proportional hazards regression examined the association between neighbourhood greenspace exposure and incident diabetes. The population attributable fraction assessed the proportion of diabetes cases attributable to exposure to least green neighbourhoods. Mediation analysis assessed if physical activity explained associations between greenspace and diabetes. Interaction analysis was used to test for the modifying effect of rurality and socio-economic status on the relationship between greenspace and diabetes. Models were adjusted for known and hypothesised confounders.

ResultsThe mean age of participants was 59 years at baseline and 55.1% were female. The mean follow-up time was 11.3 years. Individuals living in the greenest neighbourhood quartile had a 19% lower relative hazard of developing diabetes HR 0.81; 95% CI 0.67, 0.99; p = 0.035; linear trend p = 0.010. The hazard ratio remained similar HR 0.81; 95% CI 0.65, 0.99; p = 0.042 after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, whether a parent had been diagnosed with diabetes and socio-economic status at the individual and neighbourhood level. A HR of 0.97 was attributed to the pathway through physical activity in a fully adjusted model, although this was non-significant 95% CI 0.88, 1.08; p = 0.603. The incidence of diabetes in the least green neighbourhoods with 20% greenspace on average would fall by 10.7% 95% CI −2.1%, 25.2%; p = 0.106 if they were as green as the average neighbourhood observed across the whole cohort 59% greenspace on average. There were no significant interactions between rurality or socio-economic status and level of greenspace.

ConclusionsGreener home neighbourhoods may protect against risk of diabetes in older adults, although this study does not support a mediation role for physical activity. Causal mechanisms underlying the associations require further investigation.

KeywordsIncident diabetes Physical activity Greenspace exposure Older adults AbbreviationsBMIBody mass index

CIConfidence interval

EPIC-NorfolkEuropean prospective investigation of cancer Norfolk

GISGeographic information system

HRHazard ratio

PAFPopulation attributable fraction

UKUnited Kingdom

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12889-016-3833-z contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Alice M. Dalton - Andrew P. Jones - Stephen J. Sharp - Andrew J. M. Cooper - Simon Griffin - Nicholas J. Wareham


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