Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Health: A Longitudinal Analysis
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Higher income neighborhoods are associated with better health, a relation observed in many cross-sectional studies. However, prior research focused on the prevalence of health conditions, and examining the incidence of new health conditions may provide stronger support for a potential causal role of neighborhoods on health. We used the 2004 and 2014 waves of the Midlife in the United States Study (n = 1726; ages 34–83) to examine health condition incidence as a function of neighborhood income. Among participants who had lived in the same neighborhood across the time period, we hypothesized that higher neighborhood income would be associated with a lower incidence of health conditions ten years later. Health included 18 chronic conditions related to mental (anxiety, depression) and physical (cardiovascular, immune) health. Multinomial logistic regression analyses adjusting for individual income and sociodemographics indicated that the odds of developing two or more new health conditions (no new health conditions as referent), was significantly lower (OR = 0.92, CI: 0.86, 0.99) for every $10,000 increment in neighborhood income. Associations did not vary by age or neighborhood tenure. Results add to a literature documenting that higher neighborhood income is associated with better health.
KeywordsUnited States Neighborhood income Health conditions Age
This research was based upon work supported by an NIH/NIA training grant (T32-AG000037-37) awarded to the first author and an NIH/NIA grant awarded to the second author (R01AG042431). The research was further supported by the following grants: M01-RR023942 (Georgetown), M01-RR00865 (UCLA) from the General Clinical Research Centers Program and UL1TR000427 (UW) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Participants signed informed consent before completing the survey.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
The study was completed using ethical guidelines with the approval of each of review boards of the institutions involved. No animals were used in the present research.
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