A multilevel analysis of urban neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and health in late life.

TitleA multilevel analysis of urban neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and health in late life.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWight, RG, Cummings, JR, Miller-Martinez, D, Karlamangla, AS, Seeman, T, Aneshensel, CS
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Date Published2008 Feb
ISSN Number0277-9536
KeywordsAged, Female, Health Behavior, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Male, Poverty, Small-Area Analysis, Socioeconomic factors, United States, Urban Population

The associations between neighborhood context and various indicators of health are receiving growing empirical attention, but much of this research is regionally circumscribed or assumes similar effects across the life course. This study utilizes a U.S. national sample to investigate the association between urban neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and health specifically among older adults. Data are from 3442 participants aged 70 years and older in the 1993 Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Study, and the 1990 U.S. Census. Our approach underscores the importance of multiple dimensions of health (self-reported physician-diagnosed cardiovascular disease [CVD], functional status, and self-rated health) as well as multiple dimensions of neighborhood disadvantage, which are conceptualized as environmental hazards that may lead to a physiologically consequential stress response. We find that individual-level factors attenuate the association between neighborhood disadvantage and both CVD and functional status, but not self-rated health. Net of covariates, high neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is significantly associated with reporting poor health. In late life, neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is more consequential to subjective appraisals of health than diagnosed CVD or functional limitations.

Endnote Keywords

Urban Population/socioeconomic status/HEALTH

Endnote ID


Citation Key7200
PubMed ID18160194
PubMed Central IDPMC3681874
Grant ListR01 AG022537 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG022537-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States