The relationship between urban sprawl and coronary heart disease in women

Health Place. 2013 Mar;20:51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.11.003. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


Studies have reported relationships between urban sprawl, physical activity, and obesity, but - to date - no studies have considered the relationship between sprawl and coronary heart disease (CHD) endpoints. In this analysis, we use longitudinal data on post-menopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Trial to analyze the relationship between metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level urban compactness (the opposite of sprawl) and CHD endpoints including death, any CHD event, and myocardial infarction. Models control for individual and neighborhood socio-demographic characteristics. Women who lived in more compact communities at baseline had a lower probability of experiencing a CHD event and CHD death or MI during the study follow-up period. One component of compactness, high residential density, had a particularly noteworthy effect on outcomes. Finally, exploratory analyses showed evidence that the effects of compactness were moderated by race and region.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease* / etiology
  • Coronary Disease* / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Density*
  • Postmenopause
  • Residence Characteristics
  • United States
  • Urban Population*
  • Women's Health