Keijzer and colleagues set out to confirm the health benefits of living near greenspaces. They determined that “More residential surrounding greenspace was associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome. . . . Metabolic syndrome is an important risk factor for non-communicable diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. . . . 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 . . . averaged across buffers of 500 and 1000 m surrounding the participants’ residential location. . . . An interquartile range increase in NDVI [Normalized Difference Vegetation Index] and VCF [Vegetation Continuous Field] in the 500 m buffer was associated with 13% . . . and 14% . . . lower risk of metabolic syndrome, respectively.” Statistical analyses controlled (accounted) for factors such as participant sex, lifestyle factors, and socioeconomic status.
Carmende Keijzer, Xavier Basagana, Cathryn Tonne, Antonia Valentin, Jordi Alonso, Josep Anto, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Mika Kivimaki, Archana Sing-Manoux, Jordi Sunyer, and Payam Dadvand. “Long-Term Exposure to Greenspace and Metabolic Syndrome: A Whitehall II Study.” Environmental Pollution, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113231