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Soc Sci Med. 2010 Apr;70(7):1070-6. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.12.024. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Perceived and objective neighborhood environment attributes and health related quality of life among the elderly in Bogotá, Colombia.

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Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.


This study examines associations between neighborhood environment attributes and health related quality of life (HRQOL) and self-rated health (SRH) among older adults (60 years and over) in Bogotá, Colombia. Perceived and objective neighborhood environmental characteristics were assessed in a cross sectional multilevel design with 1966 older adults within 50 neighborhoods. Outcome variables included HRQOL (physical and mental dimensions) and SRH measured with the Spanish version of the Short Form 8 (SF-8). Independent variables included perceived and objective neighborhood characteristics as well as self-reported levels of walking. Hierarchical linear and logistic regression models were used for the analysis. Among perceived neighborhood characteristics, safety from traffic was positively associated with both HRQOL dimensions and SRH. Having safe parks was positively associated with the mental dimension of HRQOL and with SRH. Street noise was negatively associated with both HRQOL dimensions. Regarding objective neighborhood characteristics, residing in areas with more than eight percent of land covered by public parks was positively associated with SRH. Objective and perceived neighborhood characteristics could provide insight into potential interventions among older adults from rapidly urbanizing settings in Latin America.

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