Associations of objective and perceived greenness measures with cardiovascular risk factors in Philadelphia, PA: A spatial analysis
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There is mounting scientific evidence that greenness is associated with improved cardiovascular health. However, few studies have distinguished between vegetation type, measured perceived green space access, or investigated heterogeneity of associations across categories of neighborhood sociodemographic and racial/ethnic composition. We conducted an ecologic spatial analysis of associations of three objective measures of greenness (percent vegetation cover, percent tree canopy cover, and greenness density), and one measure of perceived access to green spaces with census tract level percentages of the adult population who were obese, ever had a high blood pressure diagnosis, and ever had a diabetes diagnosis, in the city of Philadelphia, PA, year 2013. We explored effect modification by census-tract level percent living in poverty and percent non-Hispanic Black categories. We used data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (SEPAHH) linked with high-resolution landcover, remotely sensed, and American Community Survey data and estimated associations using spatial lag models. We observed modest protective associations between percent of the adult population reporting perceived access to green spaces and percent with the cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in moderate and high poverty census tracts. Percent tree canopy cover was also protective against the cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in census tracts with low percentages of the population living in poverty and with low percent non-Hispanic Black populations. These results suggest that perceived access to green spaces and objectively measured high tree canopy cover, may protect against cardiovascular disease, but associations may vary across neighborhood sociodemographic categories.
KeywordsGreenspace; Vegetation; Urban health; Cardiovascular; Trees; NDVI; Perceived access; Socioeconomic status; Race
Knobel, Pablo; Kondo, Michelle; Maneja, Roser; Zhao, Yuzhe; Dadvand, Payam; Schinasi, Leah H. 2021. Associations of objective and perceived greenness measures with cardiovascular risk factors in Philadelphia, PA: A spatial analysis. Environmental Research. 197(3): 110990. 9 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110990.