Fusing geo and health data to
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Research by the Healthy Urban Living team of Utrecht University correlates prevalence greenness with high blood pressure and diabetes.

What is the impact of social and physical aspects of the neighbourhood environment on morbidity of the people living there? Which mechanisms play a role?

Based on general practitioner’s electronic health records and spatial data on 181 Dutch neighbourhoods, this question was answered by our team, led by prof. dr. Peter Groenewegen (Netherlands Institute for Health Services) and Utrecht University (Human Geography and Spatial Planning).

One of the findings is, that in low SES-areas (socioeconomic status), ‘green space’ seems to alleviate effects of air pollution on the prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes, while the effects of green space and social capital reinforce each other.

More research results of the combined evaluation of social and physical environmental factors in neighbourhoods and general and disease-specific health indicators will be published soon.