Neighborhood greenness may lead to better health, such as increasing opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, stress relief, reduced air pollution and/or changes to the respiratory microbiome. Miller School of Medicine studies have previously found that it is also a novel environmental protective factor for chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and diabetes.
Dr. Scott Brown, research associate professor, and Dr. Jose Szapocznik, professor, both from the Department of Public Health Sciences and who have co-authored those studies, will now investigate the relationship of block-level greenness to cancer diagnosis, including for breast, colorectal, endometrial, lung, and prostate cancers, in a new project sponsored by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
To investigate the relationship of block-level greenness to cancer diagnoses, researchers will use a population-based sample of 250,000 Medicare beneficiaries. They will investigate the relationship between block-level greenness and odds of cancer and whether the relationship of greenness to cancer varies by neighborhood income level. The main research question is determining if the greenness to cancer relationship varies by specific cancer diagnoses. They will also examine if race/ethnicity, age and gender are potential facilitators of the relationship between greenness and cancer.
Researchers will evaluate the greenness to cancer relationship by using block-level greenness from high-resolution satellite imagery, in relation to cancer diagnoses in the sample. They will also use the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ chronic algorithms for information on cancer diagnoses.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 04