A prospective investigation of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and self-rated health in a large US cohort

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Abstract

Background

Neighborhood characteristics play a critical role in health. Self-rated health (SRH) is an important indicator of quality of life and a strong predictor of premature death. Prospective study on neighborhood deprivation and SRH is limited.

Methods

We examined neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation with reporting fair/poor SRH at follow-up (2004–2006) in 249,265 men and women (age 50–71) who reported SRH as good or better at baseline (1995–1996) in the NIH-AARP Health and Diet Study. Baseline addresses were geocoded and linked to 2000 Census. Census tract level variables were used to generate a socioeconomic deprivation index by principle component analysis.

Results

Residents of more deprived neighborhoods had a higher risk of developing poor/fair SRH at follow-up, even after adjusting for individual-level factors (Odds ratio (95% confidence interval) Q5 vs Q1: 1.26 (1.20, 1.32), p-trend: <0.0001). The results were largely consistent across subgroups with different demographics, health behaviors, and disease conditions and after excluding participants who moved away from their baseline address.

Conclusion

Neighborhood disadvantage predicts SRH over 10 years.

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