Abstract MP41: Comparisons of Built Environment Characteristics Inside and Outside of Spatial Clusters of Physical Activity and Obesity in Older U.S. Women
Introduction: Spatial clustering methods have been applied to cancer for over a decade. These methods have been used in studies on physical activity (PA) and obesity. One recent study examined differences in built environment attributes inside and outside PA clusters. We tested two hypotheses: 1) PA and obesity would spatially cluster in older women; and 2) built environment attributes typically related to higher walkability would be found in high PA clusters, while attributes related to lower walkability would appear in high obesity clusters.
Methods: We used data from 22,589 Nurses’ Health Study participants (mean age = 69.9 ± 6.8y) in California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Two outcomes were examined: meeting PA guidelines via self-reported walking (≥ 500 MET-min/week) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30.0). Objective built environment variables were created: population and intersection density, diversity of facilities, and facility density. We used a spatial scan statistic to detect clusters (i.e., areas with high or low rates) of the two outcomes. Built environment attributes were compared inside and outside clusters.
Results: Six spatial clusters of PA were found in California and Massachusetts. Two obesity clusters were found in Pennsylvania. Overall there were significant differences (p<0.05) in population and intersection density, and diversity and density of facilities inside and outside clusters. In some cases, built environment attributes related to higher walkability appeared in high PA clusters, while in other PA clusters we did not find this pattern. Differences in built environment attributes inside and outside obesity clusters showed inconsistent patterns.
Conclusion: Although PA and obesity clusters emerged, the comparison of built environment attributes inside and outside clusters revealed a complex picture not fully consistent with existing literature. Further examination of PA and obesity clusters in older adults should include other built environment factors that may be related to these outcomes.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.