Residential Greenness Positively Associated with the Cortisol to DHEA Ratio among Urban-Dwelling African American Women at Risk for HIV.

Academic Article


  • As ecosystems that support human health, societies, and civilization change in the era of the Anthropocene, individuals with disproportionate balance of salivary hormones may be at greatest risk of morbidity and mortality. Vulnerable communities, in particular, are overburdened by inequities in features of built environments linked to health disparities. This study examined the cross-sectional association of greenness in the built environment with the ratio of cortisol to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in an urban-dwelling high-risk community sample of African American women (n = 84, age 18-44 years). Saliva samples, collected across 2 consecutive days, were assayed for cortisol and DHEA. Controlling for sexual violence, perceived stress, education, and income, as well as crime, traffic density, and vacant properties, we observed a significant positive cross-sectional association between greenness and the cortisol to DHEA ratio, (β = 7·5, 95% CI: 0.89, 14.19). The findings highlight environmental influence on stress response at waking when there is the greatest individual variation. Implications for advancing our understanding of the waking ratio of cortisol to DHEA as a potential marker of physiological resilience are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Mancus, Gibran
  • Cimino, Andrea N
  • Hasan, Md Zabir
  • Campbell, Jacquelyn C
  • Winch, Peter J
  • Sharps, Phyllis
  • Tsuyuki, Kiyomi
  • Granger, Douglas A
  • Stockman, Jamila K
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 2021
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American
  • Climate change
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Ecosystem
  • Environment and public health
  • Female
  • Geographic information systems
  • Greenness
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Resilience
  • Salivary hormones
  • Urban Population
  • Violence
  • Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 570
  • End Page

  • 578
  • Volume

  • 98
  • Issue

  • 4