Michael H Depledge

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (198)617.45 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Recent findings suggest that individuals living near the coast are healthier than those living inland. Here we investigated whether this may be related to higher levels of physical activity among coastal dwellers in England, arising in part as a result of more visits to outdoor coastal settings. Method Participants (n = 183,755) were drawn from Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey (2009-2012). Analyses were based on self-reported physical activity for leisure and transport. Results A small, but significant coastal proximity gradient was seen for the likelihood of achieving recommended guidelines of physical activity a week after adjusting for relevant area and individual level controls. This effect was statistically mediated by the likelihood of having visited the coast in the last seven days. Stratification by region, however, suggested that while the main effect was relatively strong for west coast regions, it was not significant for those in the east. Conclusions In general, our findings replicate and extend work from Australia and New Zealand. Further work is needed to explain the marked regional differences in the relationship between coastal proximity and physical activity in England to better understand the coast’s potential role as a public health resource.
    Preventive Medicine. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Water is often a feature of preferred landscapes. Three experimental studies explored possible boundary conditions and extensions of this finding. Study 1 examined the role of weather and found that landscape preferences were moderated by climatic conditions. While waterscape preferences were significantly higher under clement than inclement conditions, urban/built landscape preferences were unaffected. Studies 2a and 2b explored reactions to sub-aquatic compared to above the waterline views, using colour and monochrome images respectively. In both cases, reactions to sub-aquatic scenes were broadly similar to those of green space. Findings are discussed in terms of possible evolutionary, cultural and personal mechanisms.
    Landscape Research 07/2014; 39(4). · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • Maria Cristina Fossi, Michael H Depledge
    Marine Environmental Research 06/2014; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The European Marine Board recently published a position paper on linking oceans and human health as a strategic research priority for Europe. With this position paper as a reference, the March 2014 Cornwall Oceans and Human Health Workshop brought together key scientists, policy makers, funders, business, and non governmental organisations from Europe and the US to review the recent interdisciplinary and cutting edge research in oceans and human health specifically the growing evidence of the impacts of oceans and seas on human health and wellbeing (and the effects of humans on the oceans). These impacts are a complex mixture of negative influences (e.g. from climate change and extreme weather to harmful algal blooms and chemical pollution) and beneficial factors (e.g. from natural products including seafood to marine renewable energy and wellbeing from interactions with coastal environments). Integrated approaches across disciplines, institutions, and nations in science and policy are needed to protect both the oceans and human health and wellbeing now and in the future.
    Marine Environmental Research 06/2014; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B 03/2014; 171:1-20856361. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    The Lancet 03/2014; 383(9919):757-8. · 39.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Direct contact with biodiversity is culturally important in a range of contexts. Many people even join conservation organisations to protect biodiversity that they will never encounter first-hand. Despite this, we have little idea how biodiversity affects people's well-being and health through these cultural pathways. Human health is sensitive to apparently trivial psychological stimuli, negatively affected by the risk of environmental degradation, and positively affected by contact with natural spaces. This suggests that well-being and health should be affected by biodiversity change, but few studies have begun to explore these relationships. Here, we develop a framework for linking biodiversity change with human cultural values, well-being, and health. We argue that better understanding these relations might be profoundly important for biodiversity conservation and public health.
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution 02/2014; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic climate change is progressively transforming the environment despite political and technological attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle global warming. Here we propose that greater insight and understanding of the health-related impacts of climate change can be gained by integrating the positivist approaches used in public health and epidemiology, with holistic social science perspectives on health in which the concept of ‘wellbeing’ is more explicitly recognised. Such an approach enables us to acknowledge and explore a wide range of more subtle, yet important health-related outcomes of climate change. At the same time, incorporating notions of wellbeing enables recognition of both the health co-benefits and dis-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies across different population groups and geographical contexts. The paper recommends that future adaptation and mitigation policies seek to ensure that benefits are available for all since current evidence suggests that they are spatially and socially differentiated, and their accessibility is dependent on a range of contextually specific socio-cultural factors.
    Environmental Science & Policy 01/2014; 44:271–278. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent ecosystem service models have placed biodiversity as a central factor in the processes that link the natural environment to health. While it is recognized that disturbed ecosystems might negatively affect human well-being, it is not clear whether biodiversity is related to or can promote "good" human health and well-being. The aim of this study was to systematically identify, summarize, and synthesize research that had examined whether biodiverse environments are health promoting. The objectives were twofold: (1) to map the interdisciplinary field of enquiry and (2) to assess whether current evidence enables us to characterize the relationship. Due to the heterogeneity of available evidence a narrative synthesis approach was used, which is textual rather than statistical. Extensive searches identified 17 papers that met the inclusion criteria: 15 quantitative and 2 qualitative. The evidence was varied in disciplinary origin, with authors approaching the question using different study designs and methods, and conceptualizations of biodiversity, health, and well-being. There is some evidence to suggest that biodiverse natural environments promote better health through exposure to pleasant environments or the encouragement of health-promoting behaviors. There was also evidence of inverse relationships, particularly at a larger scale (global analyses). However, overall the evidence is inconclusive and fails to identify a specific role for biodiversity in the promotion of better health. High-quality interdisciplinary research is needed to produce a more reliable evidence base. Of particular importance is identifying the specific ecosystem services, goods, and processes through which biodiversity may generate good health and well-being.
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B 01/2014; 17(1):1-20. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • Maria Cristina Fossi, Michael H. Depledge
    Marine Environmental Research. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Linking environmental, socioeconomic and health datasets provides new insights into the potential associations between climate change and human health and wellbeing, and underpins the development of decision support tools that will promote resilience to climate change, and thus enable more effective adaptation. This paper outlines the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in data collection, storage, analysis, and access, particularly focusing on "data mashups". These data mashups are integrations of different types and sources of data, frequently using open application programming interfaces and data sources, to produce enriched results that were not necessarily the original reason for assembling the raw source data. As an illustration of this potential, this paper describes a recently funded initiative to create such a facility in the UK for use in decision support around climate change and health, and provides examples of suitable sources of data and the purposes to which they can be directed, particularly for policy makers and public health decision makers.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2014; 11(2):1725-46. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    F. Galgani, F. Claro, M. Depledge, C. Fossi
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    ABSTRACT: In its decision (2010/477/EU) relating to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), the European Commission identified the following points as focuses for monitoring: (i) 10.1.1: Trends in the amount, source and composition of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines, (ii) 10.1.2: Trends in the amount and composition of litter in the water column and accumulation on the sea floor, (iii) 10.1.3: Trends in the amount, distribution and composition of micro-particles (mainly microplastics), and (iv) 10.2.1 Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. Monitoring the impacts of litter will be considered further in 2014. At that time, the strategy will be discussed in the context of the Mediterranean Sea, providing information on constraints, protocols, existing harm and research needed to support monitoring efforts. The definition of targets and acceptable levels of harm must take all factors into account, whether entanglement, ingestion, the transport and release of pollutants, the transport of alien species and socio-economic impacts. It must also reflect on the practical deployment of "ingestion" measures (10.2.1). The analysis of existing data will reveal the potential and suitability of some higher trophic level organisms (fish, turtles, birds and mammals) for monitoring the adverse effects of litter. Sea turtles appear to be useful indicator species, but the definition of an ecological quality objective is still needed, as well as research on alternative potential indicator species.
    Marine environmental research 01/2014; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite growing evidence of public health benefits from urban green space there has been little longitudinal analysis. This study used panel data to explore three different hypotheses about how moving to greener or less green areas may affect mental health over time. The samples were participants in the British Household Panel Survey with mental health data (General Health Questionnaire scores) for five consecutive years, and who relocated to a different residential area between the second and third years (n = 1064; observations = 5,320). Fixed-effects analyses controlled for time-invariant individual level heterogeneity and other area and individual level effects. Compared to pre-move mental health scores, individuals who moved to greener areas (n=594) had significantly better mental health in all three post-move years (P=.015; P=.016; P=.008), supporting a 'shifting baseline' hypothesis. Individuals who moved to less green areas (n=470) showed significantly worse mental health in the year preceding the move (P=.031) but returned to baseline in the post-move years. Moving to greener urban areas was associated with sustained mental health improvements, suggesting that environmental policies to increase urban green space may have sustainable public health benefits.
    Environmental Science & Technology 12/2013; · 5.48 Impact Factor
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  • Article: Plos One
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In recent years there has been an exponential increase in tungsten demand, potentially increasing human exposure to the metal. Currently, the toxicology of tungsten is poorly understood, but mounting evidence suggests that both the elemental metal and its alloys have cytotoxic effects. Here, we investigate the association between tungsten and cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke using six waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Methods: We investigated associations using crude and adjusted logistic regression models in a cohort of 8614 adults (18– 74 years) with 193 reported stroke diagnoses and 428 reported diagnoses of CVD. We also stratified our data to characterize associations in a subset of younger individuals (18–50 years). Results: Elevated tungsten concentrations were strongly associated with an increase in the prevalence of stroke, independent of typical risk factors (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.66, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI): 1.17, 2.34). The association between tungsten and stroke in the young age category was still evident (OR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.33, 3.53). Conclusion: This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of the human health effects of tungsten to date. Individuals with higher urinary tungsten concentrations have double the odds of reported stroke. We hypothesize that the pathological pathway resulting from tungsten exposure may involve oxidative stress.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e77546. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A large part of the global disease burden can be linked to environmental factors, underpinned by unhealthy behaviours. However, the research into these linkages suffers from the lack of common tools and databases for carrying out investigations across many different scientific disciplines to explore these complex associations. The MED-MI Partnership brings together leading organisations and researchers in climate, weather, environment, and human health and wellbeing. The main aim is to create a central data and analysis source as an internet-based Platform which will be a vital new common resource for medical and public health research in the UK and beyond. Human health, the environment, and climate are intricately interconnected. We need to link and analyse complex meteorological, environmental, and epidemiological data. This is a vital step to translate this data and analysis resource into epidemiologic, clinical, and commercial collaborative applications, and thus, improved human health and wellbeing in a rapidly changing environment. Translational applications will: facilitate novel research into environmental exposures and health using integrated models; rapidly identify hot spots (locations and points in time with convergent increased environmental and human health risks) for targeted prevention, interventions, and research; provide healthcare practitioners, public health planners, and environmental managers with relevant information for improving services for locations and populations identified at risk; initiate and evaluate interventions to reduce the exposures, and thereby the health effects at both the individual and population levels; disseminate and provide access to data as part of outreach and engagement with the research community, policymakers and civil society. Existing databases, currently stored in various locations and organizations, will be combined. This will enable climate, weather and environment data to be linked and analysed with human health and wellbeing data. With appropriate confidentiality and ethical safeguards, the Platform will be available to UK and other researchers.
    141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2013; 11/2013
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    ABSTRACT: On June 2013 a workshop at the University of Siena (Italy) was organized to review current knowledge and to clarify what is known, and what remains to be investigated, concerning plastic litter in the sea. The content of the workshop was designed to contribute further to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) following an inaugural workshop in 2012. Here we report a number of statements relevant to policymakers and scientists that was overwhelming agreement from the participants. Many might view this as already providing sufficient grounds for policy action. At the very least, this early warning of the problems that lie ahead should be taken seriously, and serve as a stimulus for further research.
    Marine environmental research 10/2013; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Scientific investigations have progressively refined our understanding of the influence of the environment on human health, and the many adverse impacts that human activities exert on the environment, from the local to the planetary level. Nonetheless, throughout the modern public health era, health has been pursued as though our lives and lifestyles are disconnected from ecosystems and their component organisms. The inadequacy of the societal and public health response to obesity, health inequities, and especially global environmental and climate change now calls for an ecological approach which addresses human activity in all its social, economic and cultural complexity. The new approach must be integral to, and interactive, with the natural environment. We see the continuing failure to truly integrate human health and environmental impact analysis as deeply damaging, and we propose a new conceptual model, the ecosystems-enriched Drivers, Pressures, State, Exposure, Effects, Actions or 'eDPSEEA' model, to address this shortcoming. The model recognizes convergence between the concept of ecosystems services which provides a human health and well-being slant to the value of ecosystems while equally emphasizing the health of the environment, and the growing calls for 'ecological public health' as a response to global environmental concerns now suffusing the discourse in public health. More revolution than evolution, ecological public health will demand new perspectives regarding the interconnections among society, the economy, the environment and our health and well-being. Success must be built on collaborations between the disparate scientific communities of the environmental sciences and public health as well as interactions with social scientists, economists and the legal profession. It will require outreach to political and other stakeholders including a currently largely disengaged general public. The need for an effective and robust science-policy interface has never been more pressing. Conceptual models can facilitate this by providing theoretical frameworks and supporting stakeholder engagement process simplifications for inherently complex situations involving environment and human health and well-being. They can be tools to think with, to engage, to communicate and to help navigate in a sea of complexity. We believe models such as eDPSEEA can help frame many of the issues which have become the challenges of the new public health era and can provide the essential platforms necessary for progress.
    Public health 10/2013; · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of English census data revealed a positive association between self-reported health and living near the coast. However that analysis was based on cross-sectional data and was unable to control for potential selection effects (e.g. generally healthier, personality types moving to coastal locations). In the current study we have used English panel data to explore the relationship between the proximity to the coast and indicators of generic and mental health for the same individuals over time. This allowed us to control for both time-invariant factors such as personality and compare the strength of any relationship to that of other relationships (e.g. employment vs. unemployment). In support of cross-sectional analysis, individuals reported significantly better general health and mental health when living nearer the coast, controlling for both individual (e.g. employment status) and area (e.g. green space) level factors. No coastal effect on life satisfaction was found. Although individual level coastal proximity effects for general health and mental health were small, their cumulative impact at the community level may be meaningful for policy makers.
    Health & Place 06/2013; 23C:97-103. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Urbanization is a potential threat to mental health and well-being. Cross-sectional evidence suggests that living closer to urban green spaces, such as parks, is associated with lower mental distress. However, earlier research was unable to control for time-invariant heterogeneity (e.g., personality) and focused on indicators of poor psychological health. The current research advances the field by using panel data from over 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between urban green space and well-being (indexed by ratings of life satisfaction) and between urban green space and mental distress (indexed by General Health Questionnaire scores) for the same people over time. Controlling for individual and regional covariates, we found that, on average, individuals have both lower mental distress and higher well-being when living in urban areas with more green space. Although effects at the individual level were small, the potential cumulative benefit at the community level highlights the importance of policies to protect and promote urban green spaces for well-being.
    Psychological Science 04/2013; · 4.43 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
617.45 Total Impact Points


  • 2013–2014
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
      Truro, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009–2014
    • University of Exeter
      • Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
      Exeter, England, United Kingdom
    • The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2014
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      • Department of Environment, Earth and Physical Sciences
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2009–2012
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Zoology
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1994–2010
    • University of Plymouth
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2009
    • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004–2006
    • Environment Agency UK
      Rotherdam, England, United Kingdom
    • Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG)
      São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • 2003
    • University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
      Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • 2002
    • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
      Pôrto de São Francisco dos Casaes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    • Bermuda Biological Station for Research
      Ferry Pass, Florida, United States
  • 2001
    • Institute of Human Genetics
      Amadavad, Gujarāt, India
    • Queen's University Belfast
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 1999
    • University of Dundee
      Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1988–1997
    • Odense University Hospital
      • Molecular biology laboratory
      Odense, South Denmark, Denmark
  • 1990
    • University of London
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom