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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2014 Nov;68(11):1020-6. doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-204009. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Perceived neighbourhood social cohesion and myocardial infarction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The main strategy for alleviating heart disease has been to target individuals and encourage them to change their health behaviours. Although important, emphasis on individuals has diverted focus and responsibility away from neighbourhood characteristics, which also strongly influence people's behaviours. Although a growing body of research has repeatedly demonstrated strong associations between neighbourhood characteristics and cardiovascular health, it has typically focused on negative neighbourhood characteristics. Only a few studies have examined the potential health enhancing effects of positive neighbourhood characteristics, such as perceived neighbourhood social cohesion.

METHODS:

Using multiple logistic regression models, we tested whether higher perceived neighbourhood social cohesion was associated with lower incidence of myocardial infarction. Prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study--a nationally representative panel study of American adults over the age of 50--were used to analyse 5276 participants with no history of heart disease. Respondents were tracked for 4 years and analyses adjusted for relevant sociodemographic, behavioural, biological and psychosocial factors.

RESULTS:

In a model that adjusted for age, gender, race, marital status, education and total wealth, each SD increase in perceived neighbourhood social cohesion was associated with a 22% reduced odds of myocardial infarction (OR=0.78, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.94. The association between perceived neighbourhood social cohesion and myocardial infarction remained even after adjusting for behavioural, biological and psychosocial covariates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher perceived neighbourhood social cohesion may have a protective effect against myocardial infarction.

KEYWORDS:

Ageing; Epidemiology of Ageing; Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease; Psychosocial Factors; Public Health

PMID:
25135074
PMCID:
PMC4600604
DOI:
10.1136/jech-2014-204009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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