Introduction: This study examines the associations of neighborhood environments with BMI, HbA1c, and diabetes across 6 years in Hispanic/Latino adults.
Methods: Participants from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos San Diego site (n=3,851, mean age=39.4 years, 53.3% women, 94.0% Mexican heritage) underwent assessment of metabolic risk factors and diabetes status (categorized as normoglycemia, prediabetes, and diabetes) at baseline (2008-2011) and approximately 6 years later (2014-2017). In the Study of Latinos Community and Surrounding Areas Study ancillary study (2015-2020), participant baseline addresses were geocoded, and neighborhoods were defined using 800-meter circular buffers. Neighborhood variables representing socioeconomic deprivation, residential stability, social disorder, walkability, and greenness were created using Census and other public databases. Analyses were conducted in 2020-2021.
Results: Complex survey regression analyses revealed that greater neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation was associated with higher BMI (β=0.14, p<0.001) and HbA1c (β=0.08, p<0.01) levels and a higher odds of worse diabetes status (i.e., having prediabetes versus normoglycemia and having diabetes versus prediabetes; OR=1.25, 95% CI=1.06, 1.47) at baseline. Greater baseline neighborhood deprivation also was related to increasing BMI (β=0.05, p<0.01) and worsening diabetes (OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.10, 1.46) statuses, whereas social disorder was related to increasing BMI levels (β=0.05, p<0.05) at Visit 2. There were no associations of expected protective factors of walkability, greenness, or residential stability.
Conclusions: Neighborhood deprivation and disorder were related to worse metabolic health in San Diego Hispanic/Latino adults of mostly Mexican heritage. Multilevel interventions emphasizing individual and structural determinants may be most effective in improving metabolic health among Hispanic/Latino individuals.
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