Neighborhood context and cardiovascular disease risk factors: the contribution of material deprivation

Ethn Dis. 2001 Fall;11(4):687-700.


This paper investigates whether neighborhood material deprivation is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (physical inactivity, diabetes, smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol) independent of individual socioeconomic status (SES) in Black, Mexican-American, and White women and men aged 25-64 using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994, N = 9,961). The data were linked to 1990 Census tract characteristics (unemployment, car ownership, rented housing, crowded housing), which were used to construct a neighborhood-level material deprivation index. Results are stratified by gender and race/ethnicity. Multiple logistic and linear regression models were specified using SUDAAN to account for the clustered design. In general, residence in a deprived neighborhood increased the probability of having an adverse CVD risk profile, independent of an individual's SES. For example, after adjusting for SES, Black women living in deprived neighborhoods were at increased risk of being diabetic, being a smoker, and having a higher body mass index and blood pressure compared to Black women living in less deprived neighborhoods (P values <.05). Stronger associations were found between neighborhood deprivation and CVD risk factors in Blacks than in Mexican Americans despite living in similarly deprived neighborhoods. Neighborhood deprivation may influence CVD risk factors through a variety of mechanisms including the availability of healthy environments, municipal services, and political/cultural characteristics. Policies and interventions that address the socioeconomic context in which people live might reduce inequalities in CVD risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Poverty Areas
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*