The association between urban tree cover and gun assault: A case-control and case-crossover study
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American Journal of Epidemiology
Green space and vegetation may play a protective role against urban violence. We investigated whether being near urban tree cover during outdoor activities was related to being assaulted with a gun. We conducted geographic information systems–assisted interviews with boys andmen aged 10–24 years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including 135 patients who had been shot with a firearm and 274 community controls, during 2008–2011. Each subject reported a step-by-stepmapped account of where and with whom they traveled over a full day from waking until being assaulted or going to bed. Geocoded path points were overlaid on mapped layers representing tree locations and place-specific characteristics. Conditional logistic regressions were used to compare case subjects versus controls (case-control) and case subjects at the time of injury versus times earlier that day (case-crossover).When comparing cases at the time of assault to controls matched at the same time of day, being under tree cover was inversely associated with gunshot assault (odds ratio (OR) = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55, 0.88), especially in low-income areas (OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.54, 0.87). Case-crossovermodels confirmed this inverse association overall (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.34, 0.89) and in low-income areas (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.88). Urban greening and tree cover may hold promise as proactive strategies to decrease urban violence.
Keywordsfirearm violence, green space exposure, gun assault, urban tree canopy
Kondo, Michelle C.; South, Eugenia C.; Branas, Charles C.; Richmond, Therese S.; Wiebe, Douglas J. 2017. The association between urban tree cover and gun assault: A case-control and case-crossover study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 186(3): 289-296. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx096.