Improved residential greenness associated with fewer cardiovascular disease diagnoses

Improved residential greenness associated with fewer cardiovascular disease diagnoses

Sunlight shining on a walking path lined by large trees in a park full of greenness.

A recent study published by Professor Shao Lin and international colleagues found that residential greenness (the general vegetation level of an area) influences cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevalence among adults in China, which is partially mediated by the presence of cardiometabolic disorders. Moreover, the study findings indicate that increased residential greenness leads to fewer cardiovascular disease diagnoses, shedding light on the need for improved residential greenness in low- and middle-income countries.    

Whether the prevalence of CVD among adults in China correlates to the general vegetation level of a residential area — the focus of Lin’s study — holds great significance. This is because in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, CVD is a primary cause of death.  

The study examined how cardiometabolic disorders, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels modified the association between residential greenness and CVD.  

The study participants consisted of 24,845 adults from Liaoning providence of northeastern China; a highly urbanized region with high CVD prevalence.    

Of the participants who resided in communities with greater residential greenness, fewer CVD diagnoses were reported. According to Lin, results also indicated that “the presence of cardiometabolic disorders was found to mediate the association between residential greenness and CVD.” In essence, participants with existing cardiometabolic disorders exhibited an association between CVD and residential greenness different from those without cardiometabolic disorders.    

As many low-income countries worldwide are experiencing rapid urbanization and consequentially reduced residential greenness, the results of this study hold public health importance, showcasing the benefits of green spaces for our health.  

This study, published in JAMA Network Open, was led by Dr. Guang-Hui Dong from Sun Yet-Sen University, China.