The association between neighbourhood greenspace and type 2 diabetes in a large cross-sectional study

East MidlandsMetabolic and Endocrine
Published Date: 23 Dec 2014

Abstract

Objective 

To investigate the relationship between neighbourhood greenspace and type 2 diabetes.

Design 

Cross-sectional.

Setting 

3 diabetes screening studies conducted in Leicestershire, UK in 2004–2011. The percentage of greenspace in the participant's home neighbourhood (3 km radius around home postcode) was obtained from a Land Cover Map. Demographic and biomedical variables were measured at screening.

Participants 

10 476 individuals (6200 from general population; 4276 from high-risk population) aged 20–75 years (mean 59 years); 47% female; 21% non-white ethnicity.

Main outcome measure 

Screen-detected type 2 diabetes (WHO 2011 criteria).

Results 

Increased neighbourhood greenspace was associated with significantly lower levels of screen-detected type 2 diabetes. The ORs (95% CI) for screen-detected type 2 diabetes were 0.97 (0.80 to 1.17), 0.78 (0.62 to 0.98) and 0.67 (0.49 to 0.93) for increasing quartiles of neighbourhood greenspace compared with the lowest quartile after adjusting for ethnicity, age, sex, area social deprivation score and urban/rural status (Ptrend=0.01). This association remained on further adjustment for body mass index, physical activity, fasting glucose, 2 h glucose and cholesterol (OR (95% CI) for highest vs lowest quartile: 0.53 (0.35 to 0.82); Ptrend=0.01).

Conclusions 

Neighbourhood greenspace was inversely associated with screen-detected type 2 diabetes, highlighting a potential area for targeted screening as well as a possible public health area for diabetes prevention. However, none of the risk factors that we considered appeared to explain this association, and thus further research is required to elicit underlying mechanisms.

Contact 
Dr Danielle H Bodicoat
dhm6@le.ac.uk