Leanne CusackOregon State University, Environmental Protection Agency · Public Health
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Evidence is emerging that contact with urban green space has many positive health benefits, especially for stress reduction. However, few studies have measured the acute stress responses that occur from daily real-world urban green space exposures. We used an experimental randomized crossover design to determine whether exposure to urban green spac...
Background A growing number of studies observe associations between the amount of green space around a mother’s home and positive birth outcomes; however, the robustness of this association and potential pathways of action remain unclear. Objectives To examine associations between mother’s residential green space and term birth weight within the C...
Introduction: Several measures of green space exposure have been used in epidemiological research, but their relevance to health, and representation of exposure pathways, remains unclear. Here we examine the relationships between multiple urban green space metrics and associations with term birth weight across two diverse US cities. Methods: We...
Background: The primary route of exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), a known developmental neurotoxicant, isf rom ingestion of seafood. Since 2004, women of reproductive age in the U.S. have been urged to eat fish and shellfish as part of a healthy diet while selecting species that contain lower levels MeHg. Yet few studies have examined trends in Me...
Fish provide a valuable source of beneficial nutrients and are an excellent source of low fat protein. However, fish are also the primary source of methylmercury exposure in humans. Selenium often co-occurs with mercury and there is some evidence that selenium can protect against mercury toxicity yet States issue fish consumption advisories based s...
Evidence is emerging that contact with urban green space has many positive health benefits, especially for stress reduction. However, few studies have measured the acute stress responses that occur from daily real-world urban green space exposures. We used an experimental randomized crossover design to determine whether exposure to urban green space effects short-term stress responses. 24 participants walked a pre-determined 45 minute route that included 3 distinct green space exposure zones: 1) an urban park; 2) a tree-lined residential area; and 3) a busy commercial street. Short-term changes in stress responses were measured using a 32-channel mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) to track electrical activity in the brain and a non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure monitor to capture blood pressure and heart rate variability (HRV). We also measured continuous personal black carbon air pollution, noise and heat exposures. We analyzed differences by exposures zones using a repeated measures ANOVA.
: This study will examine associations between mother’s residential green space and birth weight in the CHILD study (a large existing cohort study in Canada). Four specific pathways that are hypothesized to link residential green space to birth outcomes will be examined, including: 1) the reduction of harmful environmental exposures; 2) providing space for increased utilitarian and recreational physical activity; 3) providing a setting for positive psychosocial influences; and 4) through directly reducing psychological stress and depression.