TitleAssociations between Residential Greenspace and Fecundability in a North American Preconception Cohort Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsWillis, MD, Wesselink, AK, Hystad, P, Jimenez, MPescador, Coleman, CM, Kirwa, K, Hatch, EE, Wise, LA
JournalEnviron Health Perspect
Date Published04/2023
KeywordsCohort Studies, Female, Fertility, Humans, North America, Parks, Recreational, Pregnancy, Prospective Studies

BACKGROUND: Residential green space can have positive physiological effects on human health through various mechanisms, including reducing stress and/or depression or facilitating physical activity. Although green space has been consistently associated with improved birth outcomes in several studies, there has been limited study of its effect on other reproductive outcomes, including fertility.

OBJECTIVE: We examined associations between residential green space and fecundability, the per-cycle probability of conception.

METHODS: We analyzed data from 8,563 female participants enrolled between 2013 and 2019 in Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), a prospective preconception cohort study of North American couples attempting conception. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire on sociodemographic, behavioral, and reproductive factors, and bimonthly follow-up questionnaires for up to 12 months to ascertain pregnancies. Using geocoded addresses, we calculated residential green space exposure using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within 50-, 100-, 250-, and buffers across multiple temporal scales: annual maximum, seasonal maximum, and seasonal mean. We used proportional probabilities regression models to estimate fecundability ratios (FRs), adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, and neighborhood characteristics. We also evaluated the extent to which associations were mediated by reductions in perceived stress or depressive symptoms and increased physical activity.

RESULTS: When comparing the highest () with the lowest () NDVI exposures within , we observed positive associations in the annual maximum NDVI [FR: 1.33; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 1.67] and seasonal maximum NDVI (FR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.41) models, but little association in the seasonal mean NDVI models (FR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.73, 1.30). Restricted cubic splines showed evidence of nonlinearity in this association. Results were similar across buffer distances. Perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and physical activity explained of mediation across all NDVI metrics.

DISCUSSION: In this cohort, greater residential green space was associated with a modest increase in fecundability. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP10648.

Alternate JournalEnviron Health Perspect
PubMed ID37098782
PubMed Central IDPMC10132140