Neighborhood Environment and Metabolic Risk in Hispanics/Latinos From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Am J Prev Med. 2022 Aug;63(2):195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2022.01.025. Epub 2022 Mar 29.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / ethnology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neighborhood Characteristics*
  • Prediabetic State* / epidemiology
  • Prediabetic State* / ethnology
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A