Were greener areas around schools associated with lower likelihood of ADHD symptoms?

December 18, 2019

Bottom Line: Attending schools in greener areas appears to be associated with a lower likelihood of having symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in this observational study of children in China. There were 59,754 children (ages 2 to 17) included, of whom 2,566 (4.3%) had ADHD symptoms. Attending schools in greener areas (as measured by satellite image-derived vegetation indexes) was associated with lower odds of ADHD symptoms, which was defined as six or more symptoms. Limitations of the study include other potential factors that could explain the results; a causal link cannot be made between greener areas surrounding schools or kindergartens and ADHD symptoms; and ADHD symptoms were measured using questionnaires completed by parents and guardians with no clinical verification. While further studies are needed, researchers suggest their findings could be helpful for developing strategies to plan more green spaces around schools.

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Authors: Guang-Hui Dong, M.D., Ph.D., of Sun Yat-sen University, and Yunjiang Yu, Ph.D., of the South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, in Guangzhou, China, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17862)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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Media advisory: To contact corresponding authors Guang-Hui Dong, M.D., Ph.D., and Yunjiang Yu, Ph.D., email donggh5@mail.sysu.edu.cn and yuyunjiang@scies.org. The full study and commentary are linked to this news release.

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