Nav: Home

As neighborhood status falls, cardiovascular disease risk among black residents spikes

January 04, 2017

The lower a neighborhood's socioeconomic status is, the more likely its black residents are to develop heart disease and stroke, according to a new Drexel University-led public health study.

While many neighborhood-level public health studies focus on physical aspects of a neighborhood -- such as the availability of affordable, healthy foods or the walkability of the location -- this study examined how a neighborhood's social and economic makeup was linked to the development of cardiovascular disease.

"This is an important contribution because it is the largest study among blacks to look at the link between neighborhood socioeconomic status and adverse neighborhood conditions such as violence and disorder in relation to cardiovascular disease," said Sharrelle Barber, ScD, a research fellow at Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health, who led the study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Barber and her team -- which included Dornsife School of Public Health Dean Ana Diez-Roux, MD, PhD -- looked at heart disease and stroke incidence from 2000 to 2011 among black men and women who participated in a National Institutes of Health project called the Jackson (Mississippi) Heart Study. This information was linked to data on neighborhood poverty, unemployment and other socioeconomic indicators from the 2000 U.S. Census, along with other data on violence and disorder.

Barber and her team found that every step down on an established disadvantage scale resulted in a 25 percent increase in risk of cardiovascular disease.

When they measured violence and disorder levels in neighborhoods, there was a similar increase in risk of cardiovascular disease for each negative step on the scale.

"For decades, centuries, even, researchers have linked adverse neighborhood economic and social conditions to health," Barber said. "For example, in 'The Philadelphia Negro,' a groundbreaking study conducted by W.E.B. DuBois, mortality rates among Blacks in Philadelphia at the turn of the 20th century were higher in the poorest wards of the city."

When it comes to examining chronic disease risk, Barber feels it is "critical" to delve deeper and identify true root causes so that policies and strategies can be as effective as possible.

Among the issues that clearly need addressing are violence and disorder.

"These are symptoms of the broader issues of racial and economic inequality that is rampant in urban areas across the United States," Barber said. "These issues arise from decades of persistent, concentrated poverty and disinvestment in communities of color, including limited opportunities for good jobs, proper education and other resources necessary for the full wellbeing of individuals and communities."

"One way of addressing this issue is to invest in economic and social policies at the neighborhood level -- such as creating jobs and educational opportunities -- in tandem with evidence-based efforts to reduce violence," Barber concluded.
-end-


Drexel University

Related Heart Disease Articles:

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.
With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.
Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.
Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.
Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.
Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.
Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Women once considered low risk for heart disease show evidence of previous heart attack scars
Women who complain about chest pain often are reassured by their doctors that there is no reason to worry because their angiograms show that the women don't have blockages in the major heart arteries, a primary cause of heart attacks in men.
Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease
People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
More Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.