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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UMiami: Researchers Find Relationship Between Neighborhood Greenness and Depression

According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, it was found that higher levels of greenness were associated with lower odds of depression. The study was co-authored by researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Department of Public Health Sciences, Department of Neurology and the UM’s School of Architecture.

The study’s first author, Dr. Tatiana Perrino, an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, noted in the study that these findings can inform clinical practice for physicians and other health care providers.

“Encouraging access and exposure to nature and green spaces may form part of clinicians’ recommendations for patient self-care, which along with behavioral and social strategies, can protect against depression,” Dr. Perrino noted.

The goal of the study was to determine the relationship between neighborhood greenness and depression diagnoses among older adults in Miami-Dade County. Researchers examined health claims data for Medicare beneficiaries, aged 65 and older, who lived in the same location for two years and who were enrolled in Medicare, a federal health insurance for older adults. The authors used satellite imagery to determine the amount of greenness on each beneficiary’s block. Compared to those beneficiaries residing on blocks with the lowest third of greenness, it was found that residents who lived on blocks in the highest third of greenness had 16 percent lower odds of depression and those who lived on the middle third of greenness had 8 percent lower odds.

The study was also authored by researchers at Arizona State University, University of South Florida, and Miami-Dade County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces.

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