Perceived green space quality, child biomarkers and health-related outcomes: A longitudinal study
Accumulating exposure to quality green space over time is posited to influence child health, yet longitudinal studies are scarce. This study aimed to examine the associations between trajectories of perceived green space quality and child health-related outcomes. We used data from 1874 childrenin the B-cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children who participated in the Child Health Checkpoint module at 11–12 years. Data on caregiver perceived green space quality measured biennially was assessed using discrete trajectory mixture models to group children by contrasting distributions in green space quality over time. Examination of associations between trajectory groups of perceived green space quality and child biomarkers (i.e., albumin-to-creatinine ratio, total, cholesterol, total triglycerides, and glucose), physical health and behavioural assessments (i.e., anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, sedentary behaviour, physical activity, sleep, aerobic work capacity, and general wellbeing), and health care use were assessed using multilevel models, adjusted for sociodemographic variables. Four perceived green space quality trajectories were identified: “decreasing quality from high to moderate”; “increasing quality from low to high”; “consistently high quality”; “consistently low quality”. Compared with consistently low levels of quality green space, adjusted models indicated consistently high-quality green space was associated with lower total triglycerides (β −0.13; 95%CI -0.25, −0.01). Lower odds of hospital admission was observed among children who accumulated quality green space over time (OR 0.45; 95%CI 0.23, 0.87). These associations were observed in boys only in sex-stratified analyses. Moreover, boys accumulating quality green space through time tended to have lower diastolic blood pressure (β −2.76; 95%CI -5.17, −0.35) and girls who experienced loss in quality green space tended to have a higher percentage of body fat (β 2.81; 95%CI 0.43, 5.20). Accumulating quality green space over time is important for various aspects of child health, with contrasting benefits by sex.
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National Health and Medical Research Council