Green spaces and pregnancy outcomes in Southern California

Laurent, O., J. Wu, L. Li, and C. Milesi (2013), Green spaces and pregnancy outcomes in Southern California, Health & Place, 24, 190-195.

Little is known about the impacts of green spaces on pregnancy outcomes. The relationship between green space exposure and preeclampsia has never been studied. We used a hospital-based perinatal database including more than 80,000 births to study the relationships between greenness exposure and three pregnancy outcomes: birth weight in term born infants, preterm deliveries and preeclampsia. Greenness was characterized using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) within circular buffers surrounding maternal homes. Analyses were conducted using generalized estimating equations, adjusted for potential confounders. We observed an increase in birth weight in term born infants and a reduced risk of preterm births associated with an increase in NDVI. No significant association was observed between greenness and preeclampsia. This study provides modest support for beneficial effects of greenness exposure on pregnancy outcomes and calls for confirmation in other study settings.