BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that neurological health could be improved with the intervention of local green space. A few studies adopted cortical thickness, as an effective biomarker for neurodegenerative disorder, to investigate the association with residential greenness. However, they relied on limited data sources, definitions or applications to assess residential greenness. Our cross-sectional study assessed individual residential greenness using an alternative measure, which provides a more realistic definition of local impact and application based on the type of area, and investigated the association with cortical thickness. METHODS: The study population included 2542 subjects who participated in the medical check-up program at the Health Promotion Center of the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, from 2008 to 2014. The cortical thickness was calculated by each of the four and global lobes from brain MRI. For greenness, we used the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) that detects canopy structural variation by adjusting background noise based on satellite imagery data. To assess individual exposure to residential greenness, we computed the maximum annual EVI before the date of a medical check-up and averaged it within 750 m from subjects' homes to represent an average walking distance. Finally, we assessed the association with cortical thickness by urban and non-urban populations using multiple linear regression adjusting for individual characteristics. RESULTS: The average global cortical thickness and EVI were 3.05 mm (standard deviation = 0.1 mm) and 0.31 (0.1), respectively. An interquartile range increase in EVI was associated with 11 μm (95% confidence interval = 3-20) and 9 μm (1-16) increases in cortical thickness of the parietal and occipital regions among the urban population. We did not find associations in non-urban subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm the association between residential greenness and neurological health using alternative exposure assessments, indicating that high exposure to residential greenness can prevent neurological disorders.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal