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Am J Epidemiol. 2018 Apr 1;187(4):736-745. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx300.

Associations of Residential Socioeconomic, Food, and Built Environments With Glycemic Control in Persons With Diabetes in New York City From 2007-2013.

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Division of Prevention and Primary Care, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, New York.
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Division of General Internal Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, New York.


In the present study, we examined the longitudinal associations between residential environmental factors and glycemic control in 182,756 adults with diabetes in New York City from 2007 to 2013. Glycemic control was defined as a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level less than 7%. We constructed residential-level measures and performed principle component analysis to formulate a residential composite score. On the basis of this score, we divided residential areas into quintiles, with the lowest and highest quintiles reflecting the least and most advantaged residential environments, respectively. Several residential-level environmental characteristics, including more advantaged socioeconomic conditions, greater ratio of healthy food outlets to unhealthy food outlets, and residential walkability were associated with increased glycemic control. Individuals who lived continuously in the most advantaged residential areas took less time to achieve glycemic control compared with the individuals who lived continuously in the least advantaged residential areas (9.9 vs. 11.5 months). Moving from less advantaged residential areas to more advantaged residential areas was related to improved diabetes control (decrease in HbA1c = 0.40%, 95% confidence interval: 0.22, 0.55), whereas moving from more advantaged residential areas to less advantaged residential areas was related to worsening diabetes control (increase in HbA1c = 0.33%, 95% confidence interval: 0.24, 0.44). These results show that residential areas with greater resources to support healthy food and residential walkability are associated with improved glycemic control in persons with diabetes.

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