MAY 11, 2020 2:50 PM PDT

Urbanization and Cardiometabolic Risk

WRITTEN BY: Lawrence Renna

Photo: Hyderabad, India. European Space Agency. This image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

A recent study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) was the first to analyze the possible connection between urban development and cardiometabolic risks in a low- or middle-income country. Several studies have demonstrated the health benefits of green spaces; however, the topic has not been investigated in low- or middle-income countries.

ISGlobal coordinated with the CHAI Project (Cardiovascular Health effects of Air pollution in Telangana, India) to analyze the data on more than 6,000 people living in an area south of Hyderabad, India, which is currently undergoing rapid urbanization. They investigated the association between changes in land-use and cardiometabolic risk factors. Land-use changes were characterized as the conversion of natural and cropland areas to built-up areas. The cardiometabolic risks considered were hypertension, obesity, and hyperglycemia. The authors of the study also examined the possible mediating contributions to cardiometabolic risk of air pollution, physical activity, and stress in urbanizing areas.

The researchers analyzed the changes in land-use over 14 years in a 700 km2 area using satellite remote sensing data from Landsat missions. Further, air pollution levels were measured by the CHAI Project.

The study found a positive correlation between the rapid increase in urbanized land-use within 300 m of the individual’s home and all the considered cardiometabolic risk factors. When compared to individuals who lived in neighborhoods that did not undergo rapid urbanization, those that lived in urbanizing communities had had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and fasting glucose values.

The study also concluded that women were more affected than men were by the reduction of green spaces. The authors of the study hypothesized that, since women spend more time at home than men, they are more affected by urbanization of their surrounding area.

The authors also said that “the study has shown that this association may, in part, be mediated by an increase in air pollution and a reduction in physical activity.” No association with stress, which was determined by a questionnaire, was found.

Cathryn Tonne, a researcher at ISGlobal, concluded:

“The findings of this study support the need to integrate health into urban planning to reduce the negative health impacts of urbanization, especially in cities or neighborhoods that are undergoing rapid land-use changes.”

 

Sources: EurekaAlert!, ISGlobal, CHAI ProjectEnvironmental Health Perspectives

About the Author
  • Hello! I am a scientist currently living in Southern California, although I am originally from the east coast. I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Northeastern University in 2012, and my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I also had a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, Irvine. I have written 25+ peer-reviewed articles, several patents, and one book chapter. I am a reviewer for scientific manuscripts, and a freelance editor and writer. Outside of science, I enjoy spending time with my family, training Jiu-Jitsu, and baking sourdough bread. I am happy to be writing for LabRoots.
You May Also Like
FEB 10, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults
FEB 10, 2021
Cannabis Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel have found that medical cannabis may reduce blood pr ...
MAR 01, 2021
Cardiology
How Heart Problems May Lead to Memory Deficits
MAR 01, 2021
How Heart Problems May Lead to Memory Deficits
Researchers have used a mouse model to show that heart problems can lead to disruptions in gene activity in the memory c ...
MAR 18, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
"Hey Alexa, Are My Heart Rhythms Normal?"
MAR 18, 2021
"Hey Alexa, Are My Heart Rhythms Normal?"
Smart speakers—devices such as Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home—lend a helping hand around the house, ...
APR 27, 2021
Cardiology
Excess Belly Weight Raises Heart Disease Risk Regardless of BMI
APR 27, 2021
Excess Belly Weight Raises Heart Disease Risk Regardless of BMI
Research has suggested that excess weight around the midsection of a person's body is a much better predictor of poor he ...
MAY 04, 2021
Cardiology
Does Sleep Apnea Affect Blood Pressure During REM Sleep?
MAY 04, 2021
Does Sleep Apnea Affect Blood Pressure During REM Sleep?
Sleep is a time for your body to rest and recover from the day. Your heart slows down, and your breathing relaxes.   ...
AUG 29, 2021
Cardiology
Bystanders Can Help Cardiac Arrest Victims Survive
AUG 29, 2021
Bystanders Can Help Cardiac Arrest Victims Survive
New research has indicated that if someone is having a heart attack, a swift response from anyone that might be nearby c ...
Loading Comments...