Perceived neighborhood problems and quality of life, physical functioning, and depressive symptoms among adults with asthma

Am J Public Health. 2006 May;96(5):873-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.059253. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


Objectives: We investigated associations between perceived neighborhood problems and quality of life (QOL), physical functioning, and depressive symptoms among adults with asthma.

Methods: Using cross-sectional data from adults with asthma in northern California (n=435), we examined associations between 5 types of perceived neighborhood problems (traffic, noise, trash, smells, and fires) and asthma-specific QOL (Marks instrument), physical functioning (Short Form-12 physical component summary), and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression). We used multivariate regression analysis.

Results: When asthma severity and sociodemographics were taken into account, people reporting a score of 8 or higher on a scale of 0 to 25 for serious problems (the top quartile of seriousness) in their neighborhoods had significantly poorer QOL scores (mean difference=5.91; standard error [SE]=1.63), poorer physical functioning (mean difference=-3.04; SE=1.27), and almost a fivefold increase in depressive symptoms (odds ratio=4.79; 95% confidence interval=2.41, 9.52).

Conclusions: A high level of perceived neighborhood problems was associated with poorer QOL, poorer physical functioning, and increased depressive symptoms among people with asthma when disease severity and sociodemographic factors were taken into account.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Socioeconomic Factors