Dr. Jennifer Robinette
While there is some evidence indicating neighborhood characteristics (e.g. disorder and urbanicity) are related to poor health, few studies observe these characteristics simultaneously. Using the 2016 wave of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this study observed two research questions. First, is urbanicity over the lifespan related to cardiovascular health. Second, do urbanicity and perceived neighborhood disorder predict cardiovascular health synergistically? HRS participants were asked whether they lived in an urban or rural neighborhood in childhood, and the 2013 Beale Continuum code was used to assess the participants’ current (adulthood) neighborhood. Participants self-reported whether they had been told by a doctor they had a heart condition and whether they perceived disorder in their neighborhoods. Weighted logistic regressions demonstrated that participants who consistently lived in urban neighborhoods over their lifespan had better heart health than those who had lived in rural areas in adulthood, regardless of the type of neighborhood they lived in, in childhood. This finding was further qualified by a significant interaction between adulthood urbanicity and perceived neighborhood disorder. However, although people perceiving their neighborhoods as more disordered had worse heart health, the interaction between perceived disorder and adulthood urbanicity was not significant. Nevertheless, a plot representing average heart health by urbanicity and perceived disorder indicated some evidence that perceived disorder was somewhat worse for the heart health of urban, relative to rural residents. These results suggest that disorder is a modifiable aspect of people’s neighborhoods that relates to poor heart health, particularly for residents of urban areas.
Pak, Jackie and Robinette, Jennifer N., "Lifespan Urbanicity and Perceived Neighborhood Disorder on Cardiovascular Health" (2021). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 493.