Gender differences in the Effects of Urban Greenness on Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes
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University of Bologna Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A223
_Background and objectives_:
Cities are expected to host more than two third of the world population by the half of XXI century. Some aspects of the built environment in the urban context, such as residential greenness, may impact citizens’ health. Many studies highlighted how urban greenness (UG) is correlated to better cardiovascular health. Built environment is experienced differently by genders. Aspects of greenness design, such as visibility and maintenance state, are more impactful on perceived safety on women than in men. The aim of this study is to assess if the effects of UG on cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is the same in both men and women.

The PRISMA Statement guidelines were followed while conducting this systematic review. A systematic search of the current literature was performed through Scopus and PubMed databases. Primary research studies analyzing associations between residential UG exposure measures and CVD outcomes were searched. Only study presenting stratified analyses by gender were finally included.

Eight studies that performed stratified analyses by gender were found. Five studies found a protective effect of UG exposure on CVD outcomes that was statistically significant only in men. Two studies found no statistically significant effect of UG on cardiovascular outcomes in both male and female. One study highlighted an inverse correlation between residential UG and CVD morbidity in both men and women.

This study suggests the presence of underlying gender-specific mediators on UG impacts on CVD outcomes. Since the small number of literature examples of gender-stratified impacts assessment of UG on cardiovascular health, further studies are needed to understand the explanatory mechanisms involved.