Nav: Home

People living near green spaces are at lower risk of metabolic syndrome

September 26, 2019

Middle-aged and older adults that live in greener neighbourhoods are at lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces. This is the main conclusion of a new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by "la Caixa", which provides further evidence on the health benefits of green spaces.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and include obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar levels, and abnormal fat levels. It is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes or stroke. To date, a number of studies have analysed the relationship between exposure to green spaces and individual components of metabolic syndrome. In this study, ISGlobal examined the link with metabolic syndrome as a whole, providing an indicator of overall cardiometabolic health, and in the long-term.

The longitudinal study, published in Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults -aged between 45 and 69 at the start of the study- from the Whitehall II cohort from the UK. Participants underwent four examinations over a period of 14 years (1997-2013), with a series of tests including blood analysis, blood pressure and waist circumference measurements. Residential greenness was determined by satellite images.

These findings suggest that long-term exposure to green spaces can play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension.

The mechanisms underlying this association "could be related to better opportunities provided by green spaces to perform physical activity as well as a decrease in exposure to air pollution", explains Carmen de Keijzer, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study. The association observed was higher for women than for men. "Women tend to spend more time in their residential neighbourhood, which could explain this gender difference", adds the researcher.

"The study found more health benefits in those areas with higher tree coverage, which provides a basis for investigating the types of vegetation that impact positively on our health", says Payam Dadvand, ISGlobal researcher and last author of the study.

Green spaces could help reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, one of the top priorities in public health nowadays. "We need greener cities if we want healthier cities", Dadvand stresses.

A recent study, also by ISGlobal, showed that people living in greener areas have a slower cognitive decline. Less stress, greater longevity, or a better overall and mental health are other benefits proved by scientific studies.
-end-
Reference

Carmen de Keijzer, Xavier Basagaña, Cathryn Tonne, AntòniaValentín, Jordi Alonso, Josep M.Antó, Mark J.Nieuwenhuijsen, Mika Kivimäki, Archana Singh-Manoux, Jordi Sunyer, Payam Dadvand. Long-term exposure to greenspace and metabolic syndrome: A Whitehall II study. Environmental Pollution. September 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113231

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Related Metabolic Syndrome Articles:

Metabolic syndrome associated with increased risk of blood clot recurrence
People with metabolic syndrome -- a set of conditions including obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, elevated levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, and high blood pressure - are more likely to experience recurrent blood clots, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.
Hops compounds help with metabolic syndrome while reducing microbiome diversity
Compounds from hops may combat metabolic syndrome by changing the gut microbiome and altering the metabolism of acids produced in the liver, new research suggests.
Metabolic syndrome: New use for an old drug
The discovery, described in a study by Cosbi and Cimec of the University of Trento published today in Nature Communications, confirms the effectiveness of repurposing, the new frontier of pharmacological research.
Three easy measures to predict metabolic syndrome in elderly
A new study found a surprisingly high rate of metabolic syndrome among individuals aged 60-100 years.
Nanovaccine boosts immunity in sufferers of metabolic syndrome
A new class of biomaterial developed by Cornell researchers for an infectious disease nanovaccine effectively boosted immunity in mice with metabolic disorders linked to gut bacteria - a population that shows resistance to traditional flu and polio vaccines.
Natural sugar defends against metabolic syndrome, in mice
New research, in mice, indicates that a natural sugar called trehalose blocks glucose from the liver and activates a gene that boosts insulin sensitivity, reducing the chance of developing diabetes.
New computational tool predicts progression of metabolic syndrome in mice
Scientists have developed a new computational model that accurately predicts the gradual, long-term progression of metabolic syndrome in mice.
Yoga benefits patients with metabolic syndrome
In a recent Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports study, one year of yoga training decreased pro-inflammatory adipokines and increased an anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with metabolic syndrome and high-normal blood pressure.
Older adults with metabolic syndrome may be more resistant to depression treatments
Researchers suspect that having Metabolic Syndrome makes it harder for older adults to respond to therapies for depression.
Can stevia help treat metabolic syndrome?
Increasingly popular as a calorie-free sweetener, steviol, as well as other extracts of the Stevia rebaudiana (SR) plant have pharmacological and therapeutic activity, including effects that make them natural alternatives for treating obesity, hypertension, and elevated levels of blood sugar and lipids, all disorders associated with metabolic syndrome.
More Metabolic Syndrome News and Metabolic Syndrome Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.