Neighborhood greenspace and cardiometabolic risk factors: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis in ELSA-Brasil participants

Health Place. 2021 Nov:72:102699. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102699. Epub 2021 Oct 20.


Greater neighborhood greenspace has been associated with better cardiometabolic risk factors, especially in high-income countries. This cross-sectional and longitudinal study assessed this association in approximately 2000 participants of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) residing in Belo Horizonte, a large Brazilian capital city. Neighborhood greenspace was studied through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and two additional types, percentages of tree cover and herbaceous cover. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of neighborhood greenspace with three metabolic factors - (i) obesity, (ii) abdominal obesity, and (iii) low HDL-cholesterol - after adjustment for individual sociodemographic factors and neighborhood average household income per capita. Cross-sectional results showed that higher neighborhood greenspace was associated with lower odds of obesity, abdominal obesity and low HDL-c. However, neighborhood greenspace was not associated with the incidence of any of these risk factors. The percentage of tree cover seemed to contribute more to the associations found with NDVI than the percentage of herbaceous cover. The results support the evidence that increased neighborhood greenspace contributes to maintain a better cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: Adults; Cardiometabolic risk factors; Greenspace; Herbaceous cover; Tree cover.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Parks, Recreational*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sociodemographic Factors