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Association between Urban Greenness and Depressive Symptoms: Evaluation of Greenness Using Various Indicators

1
Urban Forests Research Center, National Institute of Forest Science, Seoul 02455, Korea
2
School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA
3
BK21PLUS Program in ‘Embodiment: Health-Society Interaction’, Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
4
School of Health Policy and Management, College of Health Science, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020173
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neighborhood Environmental Influences on Health and Well-Being)
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Abstract

An increasing number of studies have suggested benefits of greenness exposure on mental health. We examined the association between urban greenness and depressive symptoms in adults in the general population living in the seven major cities in Korea (N = 65,128). Using data from the Korean Community Health Survey 2009, depressive symptoms were measured on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Greenness was assessed using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and land-use data (forest area and forest volume). Logistic regression models were fitted to adjust for potential confounders. Individuals in regions with the highest NDVI (quartile 4) had the lowest odds for depressive symptoms compared to quartile 1, after adjusting for potential confounders (OR = 0.813; 95% CI: 0.747, 0.884). For all greenness indicators except for forest area per district area (%), the highest rate of depressive symptoms was found for the individuals in the lowest quartile of greenness (quartile 1) and the lowest rate of depressive symptoms for those in the highest quartile of greenness (quartile 4). We found an inverse association between urban greenness and depressive symptoms, which was consistent across a variety of greenness indicators. Our study suggests health benefits of greenness and could provide a scientific basis for policy making and urban planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban greenness; depressive symptoms; logistic regression; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index urban greenness; depressive symptoms; logistic regression; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Song, H.; Lane, K.J.; Kim, H.; Kim, H.; Byun, G.; Le, M.; Choi, Y.; Park, C.R.; Lee, J.-T. Association between Urban Greenness and Depressive Symptoms: Evaluation of Greenness Using Various Indicators. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 173.

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