Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Prev Med. 2006 Aug;31(2):127-34. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Neighborhood and individual socioeconomic determinants of hospitalization.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.



A number of studies have established links between neighborhood social environments and health. In a previous study of 8197 adults, death rates for adults with low socioeconomic status (SES) were highest in high-SES neighborhoods, lower in moderate-SES neighborhoods and lowest in low-SES neighborhoods. This study examines whether these findings extend to time to hospitalization.


Population-based study of 1686 women and men, aged 25 to 74 at baseline, from 82 neighborhoods in four California cities. Participants were surveyed and medically examined in 1989-1990 and followed through the end of 2002. Neighborhood-level SES was defined by five census variables and divided into three levels. Individual-level SES was defined by household income and educational level and divided into tertiles (nine individual/neighborhood SES groups).


There were 627 hospitalizations. The age- and gender-adjusted rates of any hospitalization between 1989-1990 and the end of 2002 for adults with low SES were highest for those living in high-SES neighborhoods (51% compared with 28% to 38% for adults from the other eight individual/neighborhood groups). For these adults, time to hospitalization, as indicated by survival curves, was significantly shorter compared with the other individual/neighborhood groups (p < 0.01, multilevel Cox proportional hazards model). Findings were not explained by baseline differences in individual-level sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors or risk factors, health status, or proximity to neighborhood goods and services.


These findings suggest that factors leading to increased mortality for adults with low SES in high-SES neighborhoods also affect hospitalization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center