Measuring neighborhood landscapes: Associations between a neighborhood’s landscape characteristics and colon cancer survival

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Abstract

Landscape characteristics have been shown to influence health outcomes, but few studies have examined their relationship with cancer survival. We used data from the National Land Cover Database to examine associations between regional-stage colon cancer survival and 27 different landscape metrics. The study population included all adult New Jersey residents diagnosed between 2006 and 2011. Cases were followed until 31 December 2016 (N = 3949). Patient data were derived from the New Jersey State Cancer Registry and were linked to LexisNexis to obtain residential histories. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI95) for the different landscape metrics. An increasing proportion of high-intensity developed lands with 80–100% impervious surfaces per cell/pixel was significantly associated with the risk of colon cancer death (HR = 1.006; CI95 = 1.002–1.01) after controlling for neighborhood poverty and other individual-level factors. In contrast, an increase in the aggregation and connectivity of vegetation-dominated low-intensity developed lands with 20–<40% impervious surfaces per cell/pixel was significantly associated with the decrease in risk of death from colon cancer (HR = 0.996; CI95 = 0.992–0.999). Reducing impervious surfaces in residential areas may increase the aesthetic value and provide conditions more advantageous to a healthy lifestyle, such as walking. Further research is needed to understand how these landscape characteristics impact survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4728
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Keywords

  • Colon cancer
  • Geographic disparities
  • Landscape characteristics
  • Landscape metrics
  • Neighborhood socio-economic status
  • Residential histories
  • Residential mobility
  • Survival analysis
  • Time-varying covariates

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