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Soc Sci Med. 2007 Oct;65(8):1779-91. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Non-residential neighborhood exposures suppress neighborhood effects on self-rated health.

Author information

1
VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, CA, USA. sinagami@ucla.edu

Abstract

In prior research, neighborhood effects have often been weak or inconsistent in predicting specific causes of mortality and morbidity. To determine whether residential neighborhood effects are suppressed by exposure to other environments, we examined the effect on adult self-rated health of non-residential environments that figure in individuals' daily routines. We linked the 2000 US Census data with the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study (L.A.FANS) database, which consists of 3323 adults sampled from neighborhoods in LA County. Characteristics of census tracts where respondents lived, worked, shopped, sought medical care, worshipped and spent "other" time were obtained from the 2000 US Census. Weighted multilevel linear and clustered generalized ordered logistic regressions were used to estimate associations between self-rated health and non-residential neighborhood exposures after adjustment for individual-level factors and exposure to residential neighborhoods. We found that residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with worse self-rated health. In a dose-response fashion, the greater the exposure to less disadvantaged non-residential neighborhoods in the course of routine activities, the greater the magnitude in improved self-rated health. Models including non-residential neighborhood exposure increase the magnitude and significance of the association between residential neighborhoods and health. In conclusion, individuals' exposure to non-residential neighborhoods confounds and suppresses the association of residential neighborhoods with health and could explain why previous studies may not have found robust associations between residential neighborhood predictors and health.

PMID:
17614175
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.05.051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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