Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
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Neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation predicts weight gain in a multi-ethnic population: longitudinal data from the Dallas Heart Study.

Preventive Medicine 2014 September
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to examine a relationship between neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation and weight change in a multi-ethnic cohort from Dallas County, Texas and whether behavioral/psychosocial factors attenuate the relationship.

METHODS: Non-movers (those in the same neighborhood throughout the study period) aged 18-65 (N=939) in Dallas Heart Study (DHS) underwent weight measurements between 2000 and 2009 (median 7-year follow-up). Geocoded home addresses defined block groups; a neighborhood deprivation index (NDI) was created (higher NDI=greater deprivation). Multi-level modeling determined weight change relative to NDI. Model fit improvement was examined with adding physical activity and neighborhood environment perceptions (higher score=more unfavorable perceptions) as covariates. A significant interaction between residence length and NDI was found (p-interaction=0.04); results were stratified by median residence length (11 years).

RESULTS: Adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, and education/income, those who lived in neighborhood >11 years gained 1.0 kg per one-unit increment of NDI (p=0.03), or 6 kg for those in highest NDI tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Physical activity improved model fit; NDI remained associated with weight gain after adjustment for physical activity and neighborhood environment perceptions. There was no significant relationship between NDI and weight change for those in their neighborhood ≤11 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Living in more socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods over a longer time period was associated with weight gain in DHS.

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