, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 123-131

The influence of neighborhood factors on the quality of life of older adults attending New York City senior centers: results from the Health Indicators Project

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Abstract

Purpose

To examine the association between self-assessed quality of life (QOL) and perceived neighborhood safety, social cohesion, and walkability among older adults in New York City (NYC).

Methods

We used data from the 2008 Health Indicators Project, a cross-sectional survey of 1,870 older adults attending 56 NYC senior centers. QOL, a binary measure, was created by dichotomizing a 5-point Likert-scaled global assessment. Neighborhood safety, social cohesion, and walkability were multi-component scale variables that were standardized due to varying response metrics. Multivariate binomial logistic regression analysis was performed on 1,660 participants with complete data.

Results

After adjusting for covariates, QOL was significantly associated with neighborhood safety and social cohesion. A one-standard deviation increase in neighborhood safety and social cohesion increased the log odds of having higher QOL by 30% (odds ratio (OR) = 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14, 1.48; P ≤ 0.001) and 36% (OR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.16, 1.59; P ≤ 0.001), respectively. Higher QOL was not significantly associated with neighborhood walkability.

Conclusion

The results of this study underscore the need for initiatives that focus on enhancing age-friendly neighborhood features in large urban centers such as NYC and beyond.