Abstract 19761: Neighborhood Walkability Was Not Associated With Odds of Hypertension
Introduction: Neighborhood walkability has been associated positively with residents’ physical activity and negatively with measures of obesity and diabetes. Associations with other cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, have been less consistent. We aimed to examine whether walkability was inversely associated with the odds of hypertension in a cross-sectional study designed to assess neighborhood influences on health.
Hypothesis: Individuals residing in less walkable neighborhoods have higher odds of being hypertensive.
Methods: Individuals ages 25-64 residing in Toronto, Ontario were sampled between 2009 and 2011. Data on self-reported outcomes (primary: hypertension, secondary: overweight/obese [BMI ≥ 25.0]) and potential confounding variables (including age, sex, education, diet, ethnicity, tobacco use, and neighborhood income) were assessed during in-person interviews. Walkability was assessed using a previously developed tool using objective features of the built environment, which has been shown to predict transportation behaviors. We grouped neighborhoods into lower, middle, and high walkability categories based on their walkability score for analysis. Multi-level logistic regression, clustered on neighborhood planning areas, was used to examine associations between walkability and both hypertension and overweight/obesity.
Results: In total 2412 individuals (mean age: 44.39 (SE: 0.26), 52% female, 77% completed more than high school) were sampled from 47 neighborhoods. The distribution of walkability ranged from 13% (low), 24% (middle), and 63% (high). The prevalence of hypertension and overweight/obesity were 16% and 55%, respectively. Walkability was not associated with hypertension after adjustment for individual factors (low vs high = 0.88, 95% CI: (0.57, 1.36); middle vs. high OR = 0.92 (0.65, 1.31)). The odds of being overweight or obese, however, were significantly higher in low walkability areas (low vs high OR = 1.73 (1.27, 2.37), middle vs high OR = 1.16 (0.91, 1.47)).
Conclusions: Walkability was not associated with hypertension in our sample. Our finding that walkability is associated with BMI is consistent with prior research.
- Built environment and schools
- Cardiometabolic health
- Physical activity and exercise
Author Disclosures: N.A. Howell: None. G.L. Booth: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.