Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Living in poor neighborhoods raises risks for heart disease and stroke

16.02.2007
Sure you think about diet and exercise as key to heart disease prevention. But what about the neighborhood you live in?

According to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the incidence of heart disease and associated fatalities are higher for people who live in poor neighborhoods vs. those who live in more affluent areas.

"This is one of the largest studies to date to show that neighborhoods exert a pretty powerful influence on your chance of having a heart attack or stroke," said Marilyn Winkleby, PhD, professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who conducted the study along with colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and UC-San Francisco. The study appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"It's not surprising when you think about the health behaviors related to heart disease and stroke - physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking - and think about how neighborhoods can influence these," Winkleby said.

The availability of parks, for instance, or conveniently located markets with fresh produce rather than fast-food restaurants, may make a significant contribution toward differing levels of heart disease, she said.

Researchers analyzed data for the entire Swedish population - 1.9 million women and 1.8 million men living in more than 8,000 neighborhoods. They selected people without any history of coronary heart disease and then followed them from 1996 through 2000 to identify initial occurrences of coronary heart disease and subsequent deaths from heart disease within a year's time of that occurrence.

They found that new cases of heart attacks and stroke were 1.9 times higher for women and 1.5 times higher for men who lived in high-deprivation vs. low-deprivation neighborhoods. Census data was used to determine the level of neighborhood "deprivation," which was measured by an index of education, income, unemployment and welfare assistance levels.

Results also showed that the chances of dying from a heart attack or stroke in the first year after having an event was 1.6 times higher for women and 1.7 times higher for men in high- vs. low-deprivation neighborhoods.

Interestingly, even when individual characteristics - such as age, marital status, family income, education or immigration status - were taken into consideration, the results remained the same.

"We often think that wealth and education can insulate us from the assaults of our immediate environment," said Felicia LeClere, PhD, a researcher with the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan who was not involved with the study. "The findings of this study suggest that this assumption is misguided."

The study is particularly striking as it follows on the heels of a January study by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which drew a correlation between the availability of fast-food restaurants in various California counties and incidences of obesity and related deaths. The more fast-food joints, the higher the obesity rates.

Studies such as these, which show the significant effects of neighborhoods on heart health, are important for health-care and government policymakers to take into consideration, Winkleby said.

"This has implications for how we use our health-care dollars," she said. "We need to rethink health problems to include factors in neighborhoods, such as building neighborhood parks and providing accessible grocery stores with quality, affordable produce. Everybody deserves to live in a healthy neighborhood."

Tracie White | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>