Analysis of data from more than 2,700 women has concluded that the risk of breast cancer appears lower in women who live closer to urban green spaces.
The study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain is the first to examine the relationship between breast cancer and exposure to urban green areas, agricultural areas and surrounding greenness.
It found that the presence of urban green areas was associated with reduced risk of breast cancer after adjusting for age, socio-economic status, education, and the number of children (odds ratio [OR] 0.65; 95% CI 0.49-0.86). There was evidence of a linear trend between distance to urban green areas and risk of breast cancer.
In contrast, the risk was increased in the presence of agricultural areas (adjusted OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.07-1.65) and surrounding greenness (adjusted OR 1.27; 95% CI 0.92-1.77).
None of the associations were mediated by levels of physical activity or air pollution.
Commenting on the results, which are published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, lead author Cristina O'Callaghan-Gordo said: "This finding suggests that the association between green space and a risk of breast cancer is dependent on the land use."