Effect modifications of green space and blue space on heat–mortality association in Hong Kong, 2008–2017

Jinglu Song, Yi Lu, Qi Zhao, Yunquan Zhang, Xuchao Yang, Qian Chen, Yuming Guo, Kejia Hu

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite emerging recognition of the benefits of green and blue spaces on human health, evidence for their effect modifications on heat–mortality associations is limited. We aimed to investigate the effect modifications of green and blue spaces on heat–mortality associations among different age and sex groups and at different heat levels. Methods: Daily mortality and meteorological data from 2008 to 2017 in Hong Kong, China were collected. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and distance to coast were used as proxies for green and blue space exposure, respectively. Time-series analyses was performed using fitting generalized linear mixed models with an interaction term between heat and levels of exposure to either green or blue space. Age-, sex-, and heat level-stratified analyses were also conducted. Results: With a 1 °C increase in temperature above the 90th percentile (29.61 °C), mortality increased by 5.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6, 10.1%), 5.4% (1.4, 9.5%), and 4.6% (0.8, 8.9%) for low, medium and high levels of green space exposure, respectively, and by 7.5% (3.9, 11.2%) and 3.5% (0.3, 6.8%) for low and high levels of blue space exposure, respectively. Significant effect modifications of green and blue spaces were not observed for the whole population or any specific age and sex group, either at a moderate heat level or a heat level (Ps > 0.05). Conclusions: No significant effect modifications of green and blue spaces on heat-related mortality risk were observed in Hong Kong. These findings challenge the existing evidence on the prominent protective role of green and blue spaces in mitigating heat-related mortality risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156127
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue numberPart 2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2022


  • Blue space
  • DLNM
  • Extreme heat
  • Green space
  • Heat mortality
  • Hong Kong

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