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Birth weight impacted by greenspace: UBC study

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – What if the amount of greenspace around an expectant mother could affect the birth weight her baby? A new UBC study says it does.

Dr. Michael Brauer says babies from neighbourhoods with more green space weighed 45 grams more when they were born than babies from areas with less green space. “We found that for severely pre-term births, the ones that we’re really concerned with in terms of life-long impacts on health, they were twenty percent lower actually in the greener neighbourhoods.”

“This is after adjusting for other harmful exposures that we know negatively impact these birth outcomes, things like exposure to air pollution, and exposure to noise,” he explains.

Brauer says it could have to do with green areas providing a location for social contact, and the tendency for people with more social contact to be healthier. “This is after adjusting for other harmful exposures that we know negatively impact these birth outcomes, things like exposure to air pollution, and exposure to noise.”

He adds other studies suggest people who see more natural spaces tend to be less stressed.

More than 64-thousand births were looked at for the study.