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Green spaces: a secret to slower ageing?

Jul 7, 2023

A recent study explored the relationship between urban greenness and biological ageing, revealing that exposure to urban greenness is associated with slower epigenetic ageing. However, disparities exist, as Black participants and those in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods experienced different associations between greenness and ageing, highlighting a potential inequality in healthy ageing related to environmental exposure.

 

Key takeaways: Inequalities in urban greenness and epigenetic aging: Different associations by race and neighborhood socioeconomic status

 

  • Urban greenness and ageing: Exposure to urban greenness, like parks and vegetation, is associated with slower biological and epigenetic ageing, potentially offering a natural strategy to promote longevity
  • Racial and socioeconomic disparities: There are notable disparities in these benefits, with Black participants and those in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods experiencing different, often reduced, associations between greenness and slowed ageing
  • Potential for health equity: The findings highlight a potential avenue for enhancing health equity by addressing disparities in access to green spaces, which could, in turn, contribute to healthier ageing across different demographics
  • Gender and Socioeconomic Status (SES) influence: Women and individuals in certain SES brackets showed varied associations between greenness and ageing, suggesting that the relationship between greenness and ageing may be influenced by gender and socioeconomic factors

 

Reference: Chin, B., Hastings, K. G., Jackson, C. L., & Horvath, S. (2023). Inequalities in urban greenness and epigenetic aging: Different associations by race and neighborhood socioeconomic status. Science Advances. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adf8140