EPA Science Inventory

Impacts of green space and tree cover on birth outcomes in Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

Citation:

Bush, K., L. Jackson, A. Sears, P. Maxson, S. Edwards, AND M. Miranda. Impacts of green space and tree cover on birth outcomes in Durham-Chapel Hill, NC. Presented at International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Seattle, WA, August 24 - 28, 2014.

Description:

Ecosystem services affect human health through a variety of mechanisms. We investigated associations between green space and tree cover, and birth weight (BWT), pre-term birth (PTB), and low birth weight (LBW). Births in and around Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2009 (n = 27,293) were included. Land cover was classified based on 2010 USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program data at 1-meter resolution. Percent total green space, tree cover, and near-road tree cover were calculated around each address using 50m, 100m, 250m, and 500m buffers. Proximity to a major road was dichotomized as near (<250m) or far (≥250m) using NCDOT data. Linear regression was used to model BWT (g); logistic regression was used to model LBW (<2500g) and PTB (< 37 weeks), all controlling for maternal race, age, education and tobacco use, marital status, parity and infant sex. A stratified analysis compared effects across proximity, race, and education. Both percent green space and percent tree cover around the home were significantly associated with a moderate increase in BWT. A 10% increase in green space within 50m of the home was associated with a 6.37g (95% CI: 2.91, 9.82) increase in BWT; the association was consistent across buffer size. A 10% increase in near-road tree cover within 250m of the home was associated with a reduction in the odds of LBW of 0.997 (95% CI: 0.994, 0.999) and PTB of 0.997 (95% CI: 0.995, 1.000). While not significant across all buffers for the overall population, near-road tree cover is consistently protective for the population within 250m of a major road. Few studies have reported on the potential buffering and health promotional aspects of green space and tree cover relative to birth outcomes. None have designed a near-road tree cover metric to explore abatement of vehicular air pollution as a potential mechanism. This work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication; it does not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

Purpose/Objective:

Submission to present at the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference, August 24-28, 2014, Seattle, WA

URLs/Downloads:

EPHD-14-076-ABSTRACT-BUSH_ISEE_CLEARANCE.DOCX

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Completion Date: 08/29/2014
Record Last Revised: 08/29/2014
Record Created: 08/29/2014
Record Released: 08/29/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 285189

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION

EPIDEMIOLOGY BRANCH