THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For older adults, lower neighborhood income and lower greenspace may be a risk factor for worsening white matter grade, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.
Lilah M. Besser, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Boca Raton, Florida, and colleagues examined whether a combined measure of neighborhood greenspace and neighborhood median income is associated with white matter hyperintensity and ventricle size changes among 1,260 cognitively normal adults aged 65 years or older with magnetic resonance images taken about five years apart. White matter hyperintensity and ventricular size were graded from 0 to 9 (least to most abnormal), with worsening defined as an increase of ≥1 grade from initial scan to follow-up scans.
The researchers found that those in lower greenspace–lower income neighborhoods were more likely to have white matter grade worsening than those in higher greenspace–higher income neighborhoods (odds ratio, 1.73).
“We found that white matter worsening was more likely for individuals in lower greenspace–lower income neighborhoods than higher greenspace–higher income neighborhoods,” Besser said in a statement. “This combination may be a risk factor for brain health, but further research is needed.”
One author disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.
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