Residential greenspace and major depression among older adults living in urban and suburban areas with different climates across the United States.

TitleResidential greenspace and major depression among older adults living in urban and suburban areas with different climates across the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsFossa, AJ, D'Souza, J, Bergmans, R, Zivin, K, Adar, SD
JournalEnvironmental Research
ISSN Number1096-0953
KeywordsAged, depression, Depressive Disorder, Major, Environmental Exposure, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Parks, Recreational, United States

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Residential greenspace could alleviate depression - a leading cause of disability. Fewer studies of depression and greenspace have considered major depression, and, to our knowledge, none have considered how climate, which determines vegetation abundance and type, may change the impacts of greenspace. Our aim was to investigate whether residential greenspace is associated with major depression among older adults and explore effect modification by climate.

METHODS: We used biennial interviews between 2008 and 2016 from the Health and Retirement Study. We calculated greenness within walking distance of home addresses as the maximum NDVI for the year of each participant interview averaged within a 1 km buffer. Reflecting clinical criteria, a score of ≥5 on the CIDI-SF indicated major depression in the preceding 12-months. We characterized climate using Köppen-Geiger classifications. To estimate prevalence ratios, we used Poisson regression. Our models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, geography, annual sunshine, and bluespace.

RESULTS: The 21,611 eligible participants were 65 ± 10 years old on average, 55% female, 81% White, 12% Black, 10% Hispanic/Latino, and 31% had at least a 4-year college degree. The 12-month prevalence of a major depression was 8%. In adjusted models, more residential greenspace was associated with a lower prevalence of major depression (prevalence ratio per IQR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84 to 0.98). There was evidence of effect modification by climate (P forinteraction, 0.062). We observed stronger associations in tropical (prevalence ratio per IQR 0.69; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.01) and cold (prevalence ratio per IQR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.93) climates compared to arid (prevalence ratio per IQR 0.99; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.09) and temperate (prevalence ratio per IQR 0.98; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.11) climates.

CONCLUSIONS: Residential greenspace may help reduce major depression. However, climate may influence how people benefit from greenspace.

Citation Key13729
PubMed ID38061587
Grant ListR01 AG030153 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 ES028694 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States