Structural Characteristics of Tree Cover and the Association with Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health in Tampa, FL

Abstract

Urban tree cover can provide several ecological and public health benefits. Secondary datasets for Tampa, FL, including sociodemographic variables (e.g., race/ethnicity), health data, and interpolated values for features of tree cover (e.g., percent canopy and leaf area index) were analyzed using correlation and regression. Percent canopy cover and leaf area index were inversely correlated to respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes, yet only leaf area index displayed a significant association with respiratory conditions in the logistic regression model. Percent racial/ethnic minority residents at the block group level was significantly negatively correlated with median income and tree density. Leaf area index was also significantly lower in block groups with more African-American residents. The percentage of African Americans (p = 0.101) and Hispanics (p < 0.001) were positively associated with respiratory outcomes while population density (p < 0.001), percent canopy (p < 0.01), and leaf area index (p < 0.01) were negatively associated. In multivariate models, higher tree density, leaf area index, and median income were significantly negatively associated with respiratory cases. Block groups with a higher proportion of African Americans had a higher odds of displaying respiratory admissions above the median rate. Tree density and median income were also negatively associated with cardiovascular cases. Home ownership and tree condition were significantly positively associated with cardiovascular cases

  • Citation: Jennings, Viniece; Gragg, Richard Schulterbrandt; Brown, C. Perry; Hartel, Dudley; Kuehler, Eric; Sinykin, Alex; Johnson, Elijah; Kondo, Michelle. 2019. Structural Characteristics of Tree Cover and the Association with Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health in Tampa, FL. Journal of Urban Health. 96(5): 669-681. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-019-00380-2.
  • Keywords: Green space, urban, human health, nature
  • Posted Date: September 7, 2022
  • Modified Date: September 7, 2022
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