Associations of perceived neighborhood safety and crime with cardiometabolic risk factors among a population with type 2 diabetes

Health Place. 2016 May;39:116-21. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Apr 8.


Little is known about how neighborhood crime may relate to health in diabetes patients. We examined associations between individuals' perceptions of neighborhood safety or violent crime and stress, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in a sample (n=721) of adults (mean age:63) with diabetes. Self-reported neighborhood safety, violent crime, physical activity, and stress were collected and linked to clinical measures of BMI and HbA1c. Approximately 54% and 15% of patients reported neighborhood safety concerns and violent crimes, respectively. Any neighborhood safety concerns (β=1.14, 95% C.I. 0.04-2.24) and violent crime (β=2.04, 95% C.I. 0.34-3.73) were associated with BMI in adjusted analysis. Any violent crime was associated with class II-III obesity (BMI≥35) (OR=1.34, 95% C.I.: 1.02, 1.75). There were no significant associations between neighborhood safety concerns or violent crime with stress, physical activity, or HbA1c. Neighborhood safety is associated with BMI and obesity. Further studies, including longitudinal designs, are needed to study how people with diabetes may be influenced by a sense of poor personal safety in their neighborhoods.

Keywords: Crime; Diabetes; Neighborhood; Obesity; Safety.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Crime / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Perception*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety*
  • Urban Population


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A