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Open AccessArticle

Do Sociodemographic Factors and Urban Green Space Affect Mental Health Outcomes Among the Urban Elderly Population?

by Hyun Jin Lee 1 and Dong Kun Lee 2,*
1
Interdisciplinary Program in Landscape Architecture, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural System Engineering, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050789
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
The mounting mental health issues faced by elderly urban residents increase the social and economic costs to society associated with dementia and depression. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the characteristics of elderly urban residents suffering from mental health issues, to address these issues more effectively. We used 2015 Community Health Survey data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify the demographic and social characteristics of 11,408 elderly urban residents in relation to stress levels and symptoms of depression in seven metropolitan areas in Korea, and to calculate the odds ratio for urban green space. We found that the prevalence of these mental health issues generally decreased in relation to the ratio of green space of an area. These findings suggest identifying elderly people who are vulnerable to certain mental health issues based on demographic and social characteristics and demonstrate that the ratio of urban green space within a community is an important component in improving mental health outcomes for elderly urban residents. These findings have policy implications for assisting elderly people vulnerable to certain mental health issues and for establishing a green welfare policy targeting this population. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging population; green space; mental health; South Korea; urban health aging population; green space; mental health; South Korea; urban health
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Lee, H.J.; Lee, D.K. Do Sociodemographic Factors and Urban Green Space Affect Mental Health Outcomes Among the Urban Elderly Population? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 789.

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