Evidence suggests that residential greenness may be protective of high blood pressure, but there is scarcity of evidence on the associations between greenness around schools and blood pressure among children. We aimed to investigate this association in China. Our study included 9354 children from 62 schools in the Seven Northeastern Cities Study. Greenness around each child's school was measured by NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and SAVI (Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index). Particulate matter ≤ 1 μm (PM 1) concentrations were estimated by spatiotemporal models and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) concentrations were collected from air monitoring stations. Associations between greenness and blood pressure were determined by generalized linear and logistic mixed-effect models. Mediation by air pollution was assessed using mediation analysis. Higher greenness was consistently associated with lower blood pressure. An increase of 0.1 in NDVI corresponded to a reduction in SBP of 1.39 mmHg (95% CI: 1.86, −0.93) and lower odds of hypertension (OR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.82). Stronger associations were observed in children with higher BMI. Ambient PM 1 and NO 2 mediated 33.0% and 10.9% of the association between greenness and SBP, respectively. In summary, greater greenness near schools had a beneficial effect on blood pressure, particularly in overweight or obese children in China. The associations might be partially mediated by air pollution. These results might have implications for policy makers to incorporate more green space for both aesthetic and health benefits.
- Blood pressure