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The sociospatial context of health disparities

Christopher Browning, Ohio State University
Kathleen A. Cagney, University of Chicago

Health disparities across neighborhood contexts remain a source of enduring concern for social scientists, clinicians, and policy makers. Drawing on recent developments in neighborhood theory, we develop a model of the link between neighborhood crime rates and cardiovascular health. Applying multilevel statistical models to data from the 2000-2002 Dallas Heart Study, we find that changes in the neighborhood level aggravated assault rate between 1999 and 2000 are positively associated with individual level changes in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels between 2000 and 2001. These findings offer more rigorous evidence of a causal link between neighborhood conditions and cardiovascular health.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Poster Session 3: migration, environment and spatial demography