Background: Neighborhood characteristics play a critical role in health. Self-rated health (SRH) is an important indicator of quality of life and a strong predictor of premature death. Prospective study on neighborhood deprivation and SRH is limited.
Methods: We examined neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation with reporting fair/poor SRH at follow-up (2004-2006) in 249,265 men and women (age 50-71) who reported SRH as good or better at baseline (1995-1996) in the NIH-AARP Health and Diet Study. Baseline addresses were geocoded and linked to 2000 Census. Census tract level variables were used to generate a socioeconomic deprivation index by principle component analysis.
Results: Residents of more deprived neighborhoods had a higher risk of developing poor/fair SRH at follow-up, even after adjusting for individual-level factors (Odds ratio (95% confidence interval) Q5 vs Q1: 1.26 (1.20, 1.32), p-trend: <0.0001). The results were largely consistent across subgroups with different demographics, health behaviors, and disease conditions and after excluding participants who moved away from their baseline address.
Conclusion: Neighborhood disadvantage predicts SRH over 10 years.
Keywords: Neighborhood; Self-rated health; Socioeconomic deprivation.
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