Neighbouring green space and mortality in community-dwelling elderly Hong Kong Chinese: a cohort study.BMJ Open. 2017 Aug 01; 7(7):e015794.BO
Green space has been shown to be beneficial for human wellness through multiple pathways. This study aimed to explore the contributions of neighbouring green space to cause-specific mortality.
Data from 3544 Chinese men and women (aged ≥65 years at baseline) in a community-based cohort study were analysed. Outcome measures, identified from the death registry, were death from all-cause, respiratory system disease, circulatory system disease. The quantity of green space (%) within a 300 m radius buffer was calculated for each subject from a map created based on the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for demographics, socioeconomics, lifestyle, health conditions and housing type were used to estimate the HRs and 95% CIs.
During a mean of 10.3 years of follow-up, 795 deaths were identified. Our findings showed that a 10% increase in coverage of green space was significantly associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality (HR 0.963, 95% CI 0.930 to 0.998), circulatory system-caused mortality (HR 0.887, 95% CI 0.817 to 0.963) and stroke-caused mortality (HR 0.661, 95% CI 0.524 to 0.835), independent of age, sex, marital status, years lived in Hong Kong, education level, socioeconomic ladder, smoking, alcohol intake, diet quality, self-rated health and housing type. The inverse associations between coverage of green space with all-cause mortality (HR 0.964, 95% CI 0.931 to 0.999) and circulatory system disease-caused mortality (HR 0.888, 95% CI 0.817 to 0.964) were attenuated when the models were further adjusted for physical activity and cognitive function. The effects of green space on all-cause and circulatory system-caused mortality tended to be stronger in females than in males.
Higher coverage of green space was associated with reduced risks of all-cause mortality, circulatory system-caused mortality and stroke-caused mortality in Chinese older people living in a highly urbanised city.