Life-Course Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Cardiovascular Events in Black and White Adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Am J Epidemiol. 2022 Jul 23;191(8):1470-1484. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwac070.


It has been reported that residents of low-socioeconomic-status (SES) neighborhoods have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, most of the previous studies focused on 1-time measurement of neighborhood SES in middle-to-older adulthood and lacked demographic diversity to allow for comparisons across different race/ethnicity and sex groups. We examined neighborhood SES in childhood and young, middle, and older adulthood in association with CVD risk among Black and White men and women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1996-2019). We found that lower neighborhood SES in young, middle, and older adulthood, but not in childhood, was associated with a higher risk of CVD later in life. When compared with the highest quartile, the lowest quartile of neighborhood SES in young, middle, and older adulthood was associated with 18% (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 1.36), 21% (HR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.39), and 12% (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.26) increases in the hazard of total CVD, respectively. The association between lower neighborhood SES in older adulthood and higher CVD hazard was particularly strong among Black women. Our study findings support the role of neighborhood SES in cardiovascular health in both Black and White adults.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; health disparities; life course; neighborhood socioeconomic status.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis* / epidemiology
  • Black People
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors