Cardiovascular Health Outcomes of Latinos in the Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment (AHOME) Study: A Study of Rental Assistance Use
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Studies have shown that households subsidized with vouchers live in higher quality units and exhibit fewer physical, mental, and social problems than do their peers living in public housing. However, none of these studies have included cardiovascular outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess if use/type of rental assistance is independently associated with poor cardiovascular health among Latino adults (ages ≥18) who are eligible for federal low-income rental assistance and living in the Bronx, NY. Data from the cross-sectional, Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment study, collected over 18 months (January 2011 to August 2012) were used. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes was determined by measured high blood pressure and self-reported heart attack and/or stroke. Type of housing status was defined as: public housing units, units subsidized by section 8 vouchers, and units unassisted by either federal program. Statistical techniques used were analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression. The prevalence of CVD was significantly higher among public housing residents than unassisted participants even in the presence of all individual level covariates. Public housing residents also have higher levels of CVD than do section 8 participants. The prevalence of CVD was similar for unassisted and section 8 participants. These findings point to the potential for health benefits arising from housing voucher use even within a fairly delimited geographic area.
KeywordsHousing Rental assistance Cardiovascular disease Obesity Latino
The AHOME Study is funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “How Housing Matters to Families and Communities” research program (grant no. 94005-0). The authors would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the AHOME clinical interviewers and student interns whose dedication made this study possible.
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