Abstract 16766: Associations Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Inflammation: The Morehouse and Emory Team Up to Eliminate Health Disparities (META-Health) Study
Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that neighborhood characteristics may contribute to cardiovascular outcomes. Systemic inflammation has emerged as a cardiovascular disease risk factor. Inflammatory pathways may contribute to neighborhood effects on cardiovascular disease risk. We aimed to examine the association between neighborhood characteristics and inflammatory mediators relevant to cardiovascular pathophysiology: interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factors-α (TNFα) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in a biracial cohort from the southeastern United States.
Methods: Subjects were 580 men and women between 30-90 years of age (Caucasian = 47.8%, African-American = 52.2%). Neighborhood environment, walkability, and cohesion were assessed using validated questionnaires. Plasma concentrations of IL-6, TNFα, and CRP were measured from blood samples.
Results: Participants from neighborhoods in the lowest (worst) tertile of environment had higher concentrations of IL-6 (p = 0.002), TNFα (p = 0.025), and CRP (p = 0.023) compared to those in the highest tertile. Those from neighborhoods in the lowest tertile of walkability had higher concentrations of CRP (p = 0.008) but demonstrated no difference in IL-6 (p = 0.22) or TNFα (p = 0.57). Conversely, participants from the lowest tertile of cohesion had higher concentrations of IL-6 (p = 0.003) and TNFα (p = 0.011), but demonstrated no difference in CRP (p = 0.24). In multivariate analysis including age, sex, race, smoking, education, income, body mass index, history of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, the relationship between neighborhood environment and IL-6 (B = -0.09, p = 0.045) and CRP (B = -0.11, p = 0.022) but not TNFα (B = -0.05, p = 0.30) persisted as did the relationship between neighborhood cohesion and IL-6 (B = -0.09, p = 0.040). The relationship between neighborhood walkability and CRP approached but did not reach significance (B = -0.09, p = 0.052).
Conclusions: Subjects from neighborhoods with the worst environments, walkability, and cohesion had higher levels of systemic inflammation independent of sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Inflammatory pathways may contribute to neighborhood differences in cardiovascular disease risk.
Author Disclosures: J. Shen: None. A. Morris: None. A. Bidulescu: None. S. Dunbar: Research Grant; Modest; NIH. Research Grant; Significant; significant. V. Vaccarino: None. L. Sperling: None. G. Gibbons: None. A. Quyyumi: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.