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Neighborhood Environment and Metabolic Risk in Hispanics/Latinos From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

      Introduction

      This study examines the associations of neighborhood environments with BMI, HbA1c, and diabetes across 6 years in Hispanic/Latino adults.

      Methods

      Participants from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos San Diego site (n=3,851, mean age=39.4 years, 53.3% women, 94.0% Mexican heritage) underwent assessment of metabolic risk factors and diabetes status (categorized as normoglycemia, prediabetes, and diabetes) at baseline (2008–2011) and approximately 6 years later (2014–2017). In the Study of Latinos Community and Surrounding Areas Study ancillary study (2015–2020), participant baseline addresses were geocoded, and neighborhoods were defined using 800-meter circular buffers. Neighborhood variables representing socioeconomic deprivation, residential stability, social disorder, walkability, and greenness were created using Census and other public databases. Analyses were conducted in 2020–2021.

      Results

      Complex survey regression analyses revealed that greater neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation was associated with higher BMI (β=0.14, p<0.001) and HbA1c (β=0.08, p<0.01) levels and a higher odds of worse diabetes status (i.e., having prediabetes versus normoglycemia and having diabetes versus prediabetes; OR=1.25, 95% CI=1.06, 1.47) at baseline. Greater baseline neighborhood deprivation also was related to increasing BMI (β=0.05, p<0.01) and worsening diabetes (OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.10, 1.46) statuses, whereas social disorder was related to increasing BMI levels (β=0.05, p<0.05) at Visit 2. There were no associations of expected protective factors of walkability, greenness, or residential stability.

      Conclusions

      Neighborhood deprivation and disorder were related to worse metabolic health in San Diego Hispanic/Latino adults of mostly Mexican heritage. Multilevel interventions emphasizing individual and structural determinants may be most effective in improving metabolic health among Hispanic/Latino individuals.
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