The Effects of Social, Personal, and Behavioral Risk Factors and PM2.5 on Cardio-Metabolic Disparities in a Cohort of Community Health Center Patients

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 19;17(10):3561. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103561.


(1) Background: Cardio-metabolic diseases (CMD), including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, have numerous common individual and environmental risk factors. Yet, few studies to date have considered how these multiple risk factors together affect CMD disparities between Blacks and Whites. (2) Methods: We linked daily fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measures with survey responses of participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS). Generalized linear mixed modeling (GLMM) was used to estimate the relationship between CMD risk and social-demographic characteristics, behavioral and personal risk factors, and exposure levels of PM2.5. (3) Results: The study resulted in four key findings: (1) PM2.5 concentration level was significantly associated with reported CMD, with risk rising by 2.6% for each µg/m3 increase in PM2.5; (2) race did not predict CMD risk when clinical, lifestyle, and environmental risk factors were accounted for; (3) a significant variation of CMD risk was found among participants across states; and (4) multiple personal, clinical, and social-demographic and environmental risk factors played a role in predicting CMD occurrence. (4) Conclusions: Disparities in CMD risk among low social status populations reflect the complex interactions of exposures and cumulative risks for CMD contributed by different personal and environmental factors from natural, built, and social environments.

Keywords: PM2.5; cardio-metabolic disease; cardiovascular disease; clinical and environmental risk factors; diabetes; health disparities; personal; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / toxicity
  • Air Pollution*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community Health Centers
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Particulate Matter* / toxicity
  • Risk Factors


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter