Growing Up In Greener Areas (02-25-19)

An Engemann-lead team determined that growing up in greener areas has lifelong benefits.  The investigators found that “Green space presence was assessed at the individual level using high-resolution satellite data to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index within a 210 × 210 m square around each person’s place of residence (∼1 million people [in Denmark]) from birth to the age of 10. . . . high levels of green space presence during childhood are associated with lower risk of a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders later in life. Risk for subsequent mental illness for those who lived with the lowest level of green space during childhood was up to 55% higher across various disorders compared with those who lived with the highest level of green space. The association remained even after adjusting for urbanization, socioeconomic factors, parental history of mental illness, and parental age. . . . [study findings support] efforts to better integrate natural environments into urban planning.”

Kristine Engemann, Carsten Pedersen, Lars Arge, Constantinos Tsirogiannis, Preben Mortensen, and Jens-Christian Svenning.   “Residential Green Space in Childhood Is Associated with Lower Risk of Psychiatric Disorders from Adolescence into Adulthood.”  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, in press,