Current Diabetes Reports

, 18:62 | Cite as

Neighborhood Environments and Diabetes Risk and Control

  • Usama Bilal
  • Amy H. Auchincloss
  • Ana V. Diez-Roux
Diabetes Epidemiology (E Selvin and K Foti, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Diabetes Epidemiology


Purpose of Review

The objective of this review is to highlight the evidence on the association between contextual characteristics of residential environments and type 2 diabetes, to provide an overview of the methodological challenges and to outline potential topics for future research in this field.

Recent Findings

The link between neighborhood socioeconomic status or deprivation and diabetes prevalence, incidence, and control is robust and has been replicated in numerous settings, including in experimental and quasi-experimental studies. The association between characteristics of the built environment that affect physical activity, other aspects of the built environment, and diabetes risk is robust. There is also evidence for an association between food environments and diabetes risk, but some conflicting results have emerged in this area.


While the evidence base on the association of neighborhood socioeconomic status and built and physical environments and diabetes is large and robust, challenges remain related to confounding due to neighborhood selection. Moreover, we also outline five paths forward for future research on the role of neighborhood environments on diabetes.


Diabetes Residential environments Neighborhoods Social epidemiology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Usama Bilal, Amy H. Auchincloss, and Ana V. Diez-Roux declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Usama Bilal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amy H. Auchincloss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana V. Diez-Roux
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Urban Health CollaborativeDrexel Dornsife School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsDrexel Dornsife School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA

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