Socioeconomic and Neighborhood Context Effects on Health

Katherine King, University of Michigan
Jeffrey D. Morenoff, University of Michigan
James S. House, University of Michigan

This study examines the role of residential neighborhood in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in allostatic load, which is a physiological response to chronic exposure to the neuroendocrine stress response. Data come from 549 respondents in a sub-sample of the Chicago Community Adult Health Study, a probability sample conducted between 2001 and 2003. We constructed a measure of adverse health conditions based on a count of dichotomous measures of the following adverse health conditions: systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse, C-reactive protein, HbA1c, waist size, total and HDL cholesterol. The results show that non-Hispanic blacks have significantly more adverse health conditions than non-Hispanic whites. Adding controls for neighborhood context (in a neighborhood fixed effects model) significantly reduces the racial disparity. We found that neighborhood-level measures of disadvantage and affluence were both significantly related to having more adverse conditions for women, but not for men.

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Presented in Session 101: Disparities in Health and Place Relationships