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Environ Epidemiol ; 7(1): e244, 2023 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239712


Green spaces may be protective against COVID-19 incidence. They may provide outdoor, ventilated, settings for physical and social activities and therefore decrease transmission risk. We examined the association between neighborhood greenness and COVID-19-like illness incidence using individual-level data. Methods: The study population includes participants enrolled in the COVID Symptom Study smartphone application in the United Kingdom and the United States (March-November 2020). All participants were encouraged to report their current health condition and suspected risk factors for COVID-19. We used a validated symptom-based classifier that predicts COVID-19-like illness. We estimated the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), for each participant's reported neighborhood of residence for each month, using images from Landsat 8 (30 m2). We used time-varying Cox proportional hazards models stratified by age, country, and calendar month at study entry and adjusted for the individual- and neighborhood-level risk factors. Results: We observed 143,340 cases of predicted COVID-19-like illness among 2,794,029 participants. Neighborhood NDVI was associated with a decreased risk of predicted COVID-19-like illness incidence in the fully adjusted model (hazard ratio = 0.965, 95% confidence interval = 0.960, 0.970, per 0.1 NDVI increase). Stratified analyses showed protective associations among U.K. participants but not among U.S. participants. Associations were slightly stronger for White individuals, for individuals living in rural neighborhoods, and for individuals living in high-income neighborhoods compared to individuals living in low-income neighborhoods. Conclusions: Higher levels of greenness may reduce the risk of predicted COVID-19-like illness incidence, but these associations were not observed in all populations.

Environ Res ; 199: 111331, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230478


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is an infectious disease that has killed more than 555,000 people in the US. During a time of social distancing measures and increasing social isolation, green spaces may be a crucial factor to maintain a physically and socially active lifestyle while not increasing risk of infection. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated whether greenness was related to COVID-19 incidence and mortality in the US. METHODS: We downloaded data on COVID-19 cases and deaths for each US county up through June 7, 2020, from Johns Hopkins University, Center for Systems Science and Engineering Coronavirus Resource Center. We used April-May 2020 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, to represent the greenness exposure during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the US. We fitted negative binomial mixed models to evaluate associations of NDVI with COVID-19 incidence and mortality, adjusting for potential confounders such as county-level demographics, epidemic stage, and other environmental factors. We evaluated whether the associations were modified by population density, proportion of Black residents, median home value, and issuance of stay-at-home orders. RESULTS: An increase of 0.1 in NDVI was associated with a 6% (95% Confidence Interval: 3%, 10%) decrease in COVID-19 incidence rate after adjustment for potential confounders. Associations with COVID-19 incidence were stronger in counties with high population density and in counties with stay-at-home orders. Greenness was not associated with COVID-19 mortality in all counties; however, it was protective in counties with higher population density. DISCUSSION: Exposures to NDVI were associated with reduced county-level incidence of COVID-19 in the US as well as reduced county-level COVID-19 mortality rates in densely populated counties.

COVID-19 , Humans , Incidence , Population Density , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Environ Int ; 146: 106272, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943095


The outbreak of COVID-19 raised numerous questions on the interactions between the occurrence of new infections, the environment, climate and health. The European Union requested the H2020 HERA project which aims at setting priorities in research on environment, climate and health, to identify relevant research needs regarding Covid-19. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be related to urbanization, habitat destruction, live animal trade, intensive livestock farming and global travel. The contribution of climate and air pollution requires additional studies. Importantly, the severity of COVID-19 depends on the interactions between the viral infection, ageing and chronic diseases such as metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and obesity which are themselves influenced by environmental stressors. The mechanisms of these interactions deserve additional scrutiny. Both the pandemic and the social response to the disease have elicited an array of behavioural and societal changes that may remain long after the pandemic and that may have long term health effects including on mental health. Recovery plans are currently being discussed or implemented and the environmental and health impacts of those plans are not clearly foreseen. Clearly, COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on the environmental health field and will open new research perspectives and policy needs.

Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Animals , Climate , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2