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Residential green space structures are associated with a lower risk of bipolar disorder: A nationwide population-based study in Taiwan

Hao-Ting Chang, Chih-Da Wu, Jung-Der Wang, Po-See Chen, Huey-Jen Su
Environmental pollution 2021 v.283 pp. 115864
air pollution, bipolar disorder, common cold, databases, fractal dimensions, geographic information systems, green infrastructure, health insurance, hospitals, landscapes, metabolic syndrome, models, normalized difference vegetation index, risk reduction, socioeconomic status, Taiwan
Although many researchers have identified the potential psychological benefits offered by greenness, the association between green space structures and mental disorders is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to identify associations between green space structures and the incidence of bipolar disorder. To this end, we investigated 1,907,776 individuals collected from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. After a follow-up investigation from 2005 to 2016, among those with no history of bipolar disorder, 20,548 individuals were further found to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A geographic information system and landscape index were used to quantify three indices of green space structures: mean patch area (area and edge), mean fractal dimension index (shape), and mean proximity index (proximity). Additionally, greenness indices, the normalized difference vegetation index, and the enhanced vegetation index were used to confirm the association between greenness and incidence of bipolar disorder. These five indices were used to represent the individual’s exposure according to the township of the hospital that they most frequently visited with symptoms of the common cold. Spearman’s correlation analysis was performed to select variables by considering their collinearity. Subsequently, the frailty model for each index was used to examine the specific associations between those respective indices and the incidence of bipolar disorder by adjusting for related risk factors, such as socioeconomic status, metabolic syndrome, and air pollution. A negative association was identified between the mean patch area and the mean proximity index, and the incidence of bipolar disorder. In contrast, a positive association was found between the mean fractal dimension index and the incidence of bipolar disorder. We observed similar results in sensitivity testing and subgroup analysis. Exposure to green spaces with a larger area, greater proximity, lower complexity, and greener area may reduce the risk of bipolar disorder.