Frequent Green Space Visits Linked to Lower Use of Certain Meds

Lower use of psychotropic, antihypertensive, and asthma medications observed; association attenuated by body mass index

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals living in an urban environment, frequent green space visits are associated with less frequent use of psychotropic, antihypertensive, and asthma medications, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Anu W. Turunen, Ph.D., from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Kuopio, and colleagues examined whether exposure to green and blue spaces in urban environments is associated with mental and physical health in a study conducted among 7,321 participants in 2015 to 2016 in Finland.

The researchers observed no association for the amounts of residential green and blue spaces or green and blue views from home with medications. Lower odds of using psychotropic medications (odds ratios, 0.67 and 0.78 for three to four and five or more times per week, respectively), antihypertensive medications (odds ratios, 0.64 and 0.59, respectively), and asthma medications (odds ratios, 0.74 and 0.76, respectively) were seen in association with the frequency of green space visits. The associations were attenuated after adjustment for body mass index, but no consistent interactions were seen with socioeconomic status indicators.

"More frequent visits to green spaces were associated with less frequent use of psychotropic, antihypertensive, and asthma medications in the Helsinki capital region," the authors write. "However, amounts of residential green and blue spaces and having a green or blue views from home were not associated with these health indicators."

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Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Published on January 19, 2023

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