Neighborhood Social Context and Kidney Function Over Time: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Margaret T. Hicken, Ronit Katz, Deidra C. Crews, Holly J. Kramer, Carmen A. Peralta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale & Objective: Although socioeconomic status has been associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), little is known about its relationship to residential neighborhood context. Study Design: Secondary analysis of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a prospective cohort study designed to investigate the development and progression of subclinical cardiovascular disease. Setting & Participants: 6,814 men and women who were between 45 and 84 years of age and free of cardiovascular disease were recruited between 2000 and 2002 from Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Forsyth County, NC; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and St. Paul, MN. Exposures: A composite neighborhood problem score (calculated based on 7 participant-reported domains at study entry: adequacy of food sources, availability of parks/playground, noise, sidewalks, traffic, trash and litter, and violence) and a social cohesion score (calculated based on 5 participant-reported attributes of people in their neighborhood: close knit; get along; willing to help neighbors; trustworthy; and share values). Outcomes: Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; calculated using the CKD-EPI [CKD Epidemiology Collaboration] creatinine–cystatin C equation) and an indicator of eGFR decline > 30% since study entry using follow-up eGFR quantified at 4 examinations: 2000 to 2002, 2004 to 2005, 2005 to 2007, and 2010 to 2011. Analytical Approach: Associations between each neighborhood measure (in separate models) and eGFR decline > 30% from baseline and annualized eGFR change were estimated using Cox proportional hazards and linear mixed regression models, respectively, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: While neighborhood social context differs by race/ethnicity, neither neighborhood problems nor social cohesion was independently associated with eGFR decline after adjustment for confounders. Limitations: Incomplete capture of the early stages of eGFR decline, reliance on observational data, limited variation in neighborhood measures, and the potential for residual confounding. Conclusions: Although we showed no independent association between neighborhood context and eGFR decline, it is associated with many CKD risk factors and further work is needed to clarify whether it has an independent role in CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Chronic kidney diseases
  • eGFR decline
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • health disparities
  • kidney function
  • modifiable risk factor
  • neighborhood
  • neighborhood problems
  • residential setting
  • social cohesion
  • socioeconomic status (SES)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neighborhood Social Context and Kidney Function Over Time: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this