Residential greenspace and COVID-19 Severity: A cohort study of 313,657 individuals in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Samuel Hyman, Jiawei Zhang, Youn-Hee Lim, Zorana Jovanovic Andersen, Thomas Cole-Hunter, Yujing Li, Peter Møller, Konstantinos Daras, Richard Williams, Matthew L Thomas, S.M. Labib, David Topping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Greenspaces contribute positively to mental and physical well-being, promote social cohesion, and alleviate environmental stressors, such as air pollution. Ecological studies suggest that greenspace may affect incidence and severity of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study examines the association between residential greenspace and COVID-19 related hospitalization and death. In this retrospective cohort based on patient records from the Greater Manchester Care Records, all first COVID-19 cases diagnosed between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2022 were followed until COVID-19 related hospitalization or death within 28 days. Residential greenspace availability was assessed using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index per lower super output area in Greater Manchester. The association of greenspace with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality were estimated using multivariate logistic regression models after adjusting for potential individual, temporal, and spatial confounders. We explored potential effect modifications of the associations with greenspace and COVID-19 severity by age, sex, body mass index, smoking, deprivation, and certain comorbidities. Combined effects of greenspace and air pollution (NO2 and PM2.5) were investigated by mutually adjusting pairs with correlation coefficients ≤ 0·7. Significant negative associations were observed between greenspace availability and COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality with odds ratios [OR] (95 % Confidence Intervals [CI]) of 0·96 (0·94-0·97) and 0·84 (0·80-0·88) (per interquartile range [IQR]), respectively. These were significantly modified by deprivation (P-value for interaction < 0.05), showing that those most deprived obtained largest benefits from greenspace. Inclusion of NO2 and PM2.5 diminished associations to null for COVID-19 hospitalization, but only reduced them slightly for mortality, where inverse associations remained. In the Greater Manchester area, residential greenspace is associated with reduced risk of hospitalization or death in individuals with COVID-19, with deprived groups obtaining the greatest benefits. Associations were strongest for COVID-19 mortality, which were robust to inclusion of air pollutants in the models.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment International
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Hospitalization
  • Mortality
  • Greenspace
  • Deprivation

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