Neighborhood Characteristics and Elevated Blood Pressure in Older Adults.

TitleNeighborhood Characteristics and Elevated Blood Pressure in Older Adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsSims, KD, Willis, MD, Hystad, PW, G Batty, D, Bibbins-Domingo, K, Smit, E, Odden, MC
JournalJAMA Network Open
Date Published2023 Sep 05
ISSN Number2574-3805
KeywordsAged, Blood pressure, Cohort Studies, ethnicity, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Neighborhood characteristics

IMPORTANCE: The local environment remains an understudied contributor to elevated blood pressure among older adults. Untargeted approaches can identify neighborhood conditions interrelated with racial segregation that drive hypertension disparities.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate independent associations of sociodemographic, economic, and housing neighborhood factors with elevated blood pressure.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this cohort study, the sample included Health and Retirement Study participants who had between 1 and 3 sets of biennial sphygmomanometer readings from 2006 to 2014 or 2008 to 2016. Statistical analyses were conducted from February 5 to November 30, 2021.

EXPOSURES: Fifty-one standardized American Community Survey census tract variables (2005-2009).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Elevated sphygmomanometer readings over the study period (6-year period prevalence): a value of at least 140 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and/or at least 90 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure. Participants were divided 50:50 into training and test data sets. Generalized estimating equations were used to summarize multivariable associations between each neighborhood variable and the period prevalence of elevated blood pressure, adjusting for individual-level covariates. Any neighborhood factor associated (Simes-adjusted for multiple comparisons P ≤ .05) with elevated blood pressure in the training data set was rerun in the test data set to gauge model performance. Lastly, in the full cohort, race- and ethnicity-stratified associations were evaluated for each identified neighborhood factor on the likelihood of elevated blood pressure.

RESULTS: Of 12 946 participants, 4565 (35%) had elevated sphygmomanometer readings (median [IQR] age, 68 [63-73] years; 2283 [50%] male; 228 [5%] Hispanic or Latino, 502 [11%] non-Hispanic Black, and 3761 [82%] non-Hispanic White). Between 2006 and 2016, a lower likelihood of elevated blood pressure was observed (relative risk for highest vs lowest tertile, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86-0.96) among participants residing in a neighborhood with recent (post-1999) in-migration of homeowners. This association was precise among participants with non-Hispanic White and other race and ethnicity (relative risk, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85-0.97) but not non-Hispanic Black participants (relative risk, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.85-1.11; P = .48 for interaction) or Hispanic or Latino participants (relative risk, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.65-1.09; P = .78 for interaction).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study of older adults, recent relocation of homeowners to a neighborhood was robustly associated with reduced likelihood of elevated blood pressure among White participants but not their racially and ethnically marginalized counterparts. Our findings indicate that gentrification may influence later-life blood pressure control.

Citation Key13576
PubMed ID37747730
PubMed Central IDPMC10520741