Chronic non-communicable diseases are leading causes of poor health and mortality worldwide, disproportionately affecting people in highly deprived areas. We undertook a population-based, retrospective study of 137,032 residents in Glasgow, Scotland, to investigate the association between proximity to urban blue spaces and incident chronic health conditions during a canal regeneration programme. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for age and sex, with the incidence of a given health condition as the dependent variable. The analyses were stratified by socio-economic deprivation tertiles. We found that, in areas in the highest deprivation tertile, proximity to blue space was associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease (HR 0.85, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.76-0.95), hypertension (HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.79-0.92), diabetes (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.83-0.94), stroke (HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.94) and obesity (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.86-0.94), but not chronic pulmonary disease, after adjusting for age and sex covariates. In middle and low deprivation tertiles, living closer to the canal was associated with a higher risk of incident chronic pulmonary disease (middle: HR 1.56, 95% CI 1.24-1.97, low: HR 1.34, 95% CI 1.05-1.73). Moreover, in the middle deprivation tertile, a higher risk of stroke (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.02-1.81) and obesity (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.29) was observed. We conclude that exposure to blue infrastructure could be leveraged to mitigate some of the health inequalities in cities.
|Journal||International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 7 Jan 2022|