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Neighborhood Environments and Incident Hypertension in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

01 Jun 2016

We examined relationships between neighborhood physical and social environments and incidence of hypertension in a cohort of 3,382 adults at 6 sites in the United States over 10 years of follow-up (2000–2011), using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The sample was aged 45–84 years (mean = 59 years) and free of clinical cardiovascular disease and hypertension at baseline. Of the participants, 51% were female, 44% white, 23% Hispanic, 21% black, and 13% Chinese-American; 39% of participants developed hypertension during an average of 7.2 years of follow-up. Cox models were used to estimate associations of time-varying cumulative average neighborhood features (survey-based healthy food availability, walking environment, social cohesion, safety, and geographic information system–based density of favorable food stores and recreational resources) with incident hypertension. After adjustment for individual and neighborhood-level covariates, a 1-standard-deviation increase in healthy food availability was associated with a 12% lower rate of hypertension (hazard ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval: 0.82, 0.95). Other neighborhood features were not related to incidence of hypertension. The neighborhood food environment is related to the risk of hypertension.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in American Journal of Epidemiology