Greenspace and atopic sensitization in children and adolescents—a systematic review

Katrina A. Lambert, Gayan Bowatte, Rachel Tham, Caroline J. Lodge, Luke A. Prendergast, Joachim Heinrich, Michael J. Abramson, Shyamali C. Dharmage, Bircan Erbas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade, studies investigating greenspace have highlighted several benefits to human health. However, the effect of greenspace on allergies and atopic sensitization in children was not clear. While several studies have investigated this link, the evidence has not been systematically synthesized. We conducted a systematic search of eight databases. Study characteristics and findings were extracted from five articles covering 11 cohorts published between 2012 and 2016, and study quality assessments were performed. Due to significant heterogeneity, meta-analysis was not conducted. Findings were not consistent, possibly due to variations in exposure measurements, study populations and location, the specific allergens tested, and inclusion of confounders. Protective effects from greenspace were reported in four cohorts, while two cohorts showed an increase in sensitization related to greenspace. The other five cohorts found no significant effect of greenspace on atopic sensitization. There is limited understanding of the contributions of greenspace to specific allergens. Future research should consider amount and type of greenspace, as well as the specific allergens tested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2539
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2018


  • Atopy
  • Greenness
  • IgE
  • Skin prick

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