Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction in a Nationally Representative Sample

Published in: Public Health, v. 126, no. 10, Oct. 2012, p. 827-835

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2012

by Craig Pollack, Mary Ellen Slaughter, Beth Ann Griffin, Tamara Dubowitz, Chloe E. Bird

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OBJECTIVES: Test the association between coronary heart disease (CHD) risk scores and neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) in a US nationally-representative sample and describe whether the association varies by gender and race/ethnicity. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: We use Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 1999 to 2004 linked with Census tract data. Multivariable regression models and propensity score adjusted models are employed to test the association between NSES and 10-year risk of CHD based on the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), adjusting for individual-level characteristics. RESULTS: An individual living in a neighborhood at the 75th percentile of NSES (high NSES) has, on average, a 10-year CHD risk that is 0.16 percentage points lower (95% Confidence Interval 0.16, 0.17) than a similar person residing in a neighborhood at the 25th percentile of NSES (low NSES). Race/ethnicity and gender were found to significantly modify the association between NSES and CHD risk: the association is larger in men than women and in whites than minorities. Propensity score models showed that findings on the main effects of NSES were robust to self-selection into neighborhoods. Similar results were observed between NSES and risk of cardiovascular disease events. CONCLUSIONS: NSES is significantly associated with CHD risk, and the relationship varies by gender and race/ethnicity.

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