Built Environmental Characteristics and Diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

The built environment influences behaviour, like physical activity, diet and sleep, which affects the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study systematically reviewed and meta-analysed evidence on the association between built environmental characteristics related to lifestyle behaviour and T2DM risk/prevalence, worldwide.

From 11,279 studies, 109 were eligible and 40 were meta-analysed.

The results showed:

  • living in an urban residence was associated with higher T2DM risk/prevalence compared to living in a rural residence
  • higher neighbourhood walkability was associated with lower T2DM risk/prevalence
  • more green space tended to be associated with lower T2DM risk/prevalence.
  • no convincing evidence was found of an association between food environment with T2DM risk/prevalence.

These results may be relevant for infrastructure planning and have implications for urban planning.

Authors N.R den Braver, J. Lakerveld, F Rutter, L Schoonmade, J Brug and J Beulens. Published in BMC Medicine 31 January 2018.