Neighborhood psychosocial hazards and cardiovascular disease: The Baltimore Memory Study

Toms Augustin, Thomas A. Glass, Bryan D. James, Brian S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives. We examined associations between cardiovascular disease and neighborhood psychosocial hazards, such as violent crime, abandoned buildings, and signs of incivility, to evaluate whether features of place are associated with older adult health. Methods. We analyzed first-visit data from the Baltimore Memory Study of randomly selected residents aged 50 to 70 years (n = 1140) of 65 contiguous neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. We looked for associations between selfreports of history of selected cardiovascular diseases and scores on the 12-item neighborhood psychosocial hazards scale. Results. After adjustment for established individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease, residents in neighborhoods with scores in the highest quartile of the psychosocial hazards scale had more than 4 times higher odds of a history of myocardial infarction and more than 3 times higher odds of myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or intermittent claudication compared with residents living in neighborhoods scoring in the lowest quartile. Conclusions. Neighborhood psychosocial hazards were significantly associated with self-reported cardiovascular disease after adjustment for individuallevel risk factors. This is consistent with the hypothesis that environmental stress plays a role in the etiology of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1664-1670
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume98
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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