A Genetically Informed Study of Neighborhoods and Health: Results From the MIDUS Twin Sample
To examine whether neighborhood income and neighborhood safety concerns influence multisystem physiological risk after adjusting for genetic and environmental selection effects that may have biased previous tests of this association.
We used structural equation modeling with a genetically informed sample of 686 male and female twin pairs in the Midlife in the United States Study II (2004).
Controlling for additive genetic and shared environmental processes that may have biased neighborhood–health links in previous examinations, higher neighborhood safety concerns were associated with less physiological risk among women but not men.
Our findings suggest a possible causal role of neighborhood features for a measure of physiological risk that is associated with the development of disease. Efforts to increase neighborhood safety, perhaps through increased street lighting or neighborhood watch programs, may improve community-level health.
Robinette, J. W., & Beam, C. R. (2018). A genetically informed study of neighborhoods and health: Results from the MIDUS twin sample. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, gby157. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gby157