Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 151–160 | Cite as

Neighborhood Racial Diversity and Metabolic Syndrome: 2003–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • Kelin LiEmail author
  • Ming Wen
  • Jessie X. Fan
Original Paper


This study investigated the independent association between neighborhood racial/ethnic diversity and metabolic syndrome among US adults, and focused on how this association differed across individual and neighborhood characteristics (i.e., race/ethnicity, sex, age, urbanity, neighborhood poverty). Objectively-measured biomarker data from 2003 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were linked to census-tract profiles from 2000 decennial census (N = 10,122). Multilevel random intercept logistic regression models were estimated to examine the contextual effects of tract-level racial/ethnic diversity on individual risks of metabolic syndrome. Overall, more than 20% of the study population were identified as having metabolic syndrome, although the prevalence also varied across demographic subgroups and specific biomarkers. Multilevel analyses showed that increased racial/ethnic diversity within a census tract was associated with decreased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52–0.96), particularly among female (OR 0.64; 95% CI 0.43–0.96), young adults (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.39–0.93), and residents living in urban (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.48–0.93) or poverty neighborhoods (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.31–0.95). The findings point to the potential benefits of neighborhood racial/ethnic diversity on individual health risks.


Health disparities Neighborhoods Race Ethnicity Biomarkers Metabolic syndrome 



This study was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (R01CA140319-01A1; PI: Wen). Li also acknowledged a faculty summer grant from the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences supported by K. T. and E. L. Norris Foundation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyCalifornia State University-Dominguez HillsCarsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family and Consumer StudiesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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