Background: Depression and diminished health status are common in adults with diabetes, but few studies have investigated associations with socio-economic environment. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate the relationship between neighborhood-level SES and health status and depression. Methods. Individual-level data on 1010 participants at baseline in Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes), a trial of long-term weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes, were linked to neighborhood-level SES (% living below poverty) from the 2000 US Census (tracts). Dependent variables included depression (Beck Inventory), and health status (Medical Outcomes Study (SF-36) scale). Multi-level regression models were used to account simultaneously for individual-level age, sex, race, education, personal yearly income and neighborhood-level SES. Results: Overall, the % living in poverty in the participants' neighborhoods varied, mean = 11% (range 0-67%). Compared to their counterparts in the lowest tertile of neighborhood poverty (least poverty), those in the highest tertile (most poverty) had significantly lower scores on the role-limitations(physical), role limitations(emotional), physical functioning, social functioning, mental health, and vitality sub-scales of the SF-36 scale. When evaluating SF-36 composite scores, those living in neighborhoods with more poverty had significantly lower scores on the physical health (-coefficient  = -1.90 units, 95% CI: -3.40,-0.039), mental health ( = -2.92 units, -4.31,-1.53) and global health ( = -2.77 units, -4.21,-1.33) composite scores. Conclusion: In this selected group of weight loss trial participants, lower neighborhood SES was significantly associated with poorer health status. Whether these associations might influence response to the Look AHEAD weight loss intervention requires further investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health