Green Space and Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Green Space and Cardiovascular Disease
Write 1000 words, in APA 7, Use at least 4 current, peer-reviewed sources.
The global population is expected to reach ten billion by 2050, with the majority of people living in cities (Giles-Corti et al., 2016). Urbanization influences people’s health by influencing many aspects of their lives, including the positive effects of healthcare access and employment opportunities, as well as the negative effects of air and noise pollution, heat, racial/socioeconomic segregation, and limited access to green space (Corburn, 2015). Green space includes natural vegetation (for example, grassland, forest, and shrubs), parks, street greening, green infrastructure, and green public spaces (Taylor and Hochuli, 2017; Holland et al., 2021). With increasing urbanization, public green spaces have become increasingly dispersed and fragmented in many parts of the world, resulting in environmental degradation and some health issues (Cox et al., 2018). Green space has piqued the interest of environmental health researchers in recent years, and it has been reported to be beneficial to a variety of health outcomes, including all-cause mortality, pregnancy outcomes, mental health, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Fong et al., 2018; Twohig-Bennett and Jones, 2018; Rojas-Rueda et al., 2019; Yang et al., 2021).

CVD, which includes stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart failure, has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and chronic disability worldwide (Roth et al., 2020). Worse, the absolute number of CVD deaths has been rising, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) experiencing an epidemiological shift from communicable diseases to noncommunicable diseases such as CVD (Roth et al., 2017). Individual risk factors for CVD include stress, diet, smoking, and alcohol, as well as environmental determinants (such as air pollution and noise), which may be more modifiable at the population level (Joseph et al., 2017). Recent research suggests that green space can improve cardiovascular health by reducing air pollution, urban heat, and noise, encouraging exercise, facilitating social interactions and cohesion, relieving stress, and supporting beneficial microbiota (Markevych et al., 2017; Marselle et al., 2021; Pearson et al., 2019).

Several epidemiological studies have found an association between green space exposure and cardiovascular health over the last decade. However, the findings are inconsistent and contradictory, with some studies reporting beneficial associations (Crouse et al., 2017; Vienneau et al., 2017; Orioli et al., 2019) and others reporting no associations or even deleterious associations (Picavet et al., 2016; Zijlema et al., 2019). (Servadio et al., 2019). Three previous studies combined the effects of green space on CVD (Gascon et al., 2016; Twohig-Bennett and Jones, 2018; Yuan et al., 2020). Gascon et al. (2016) included only CVD mortality, whereas Twohig-Bennett and Jones (2018) included CVD mortality, stroke, and CHD incidence, resulting in eight and eighteen included studies, respectively. The most recent review summarized 19 studies, but only studies on elderly populations were included (Yuan et al., 2020). Given the recent surge in published studies on green space and health outcomes, including studies in the Global South and several important cohort studies published since 2016, an updated and more comprehensive approach is required (Rigolon et al., 2018; Zhang et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2021).
Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Environmental factors such as proximity to and exposure to restorative green spaces appear to influence the stimulatory, oxidative, and repair mechanisms that affect cardiovascular health. It may be clinically and economically beneficial to support the maintenance and accessibility of these green spaces as part of a comprehensive, preventive approach to disease burden reduction.

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