Racial/ethnic residential segregation, neighborhood poverty and urinary biomarkers of diet in New York City adults

Stella S Yi, Ryan R Ruff, Molly Jung, Elizabeth Needham Waddell
Social Science & Medicine 2014, 122: 122-9
Consuming less sodium and more potassium are components of a healthy diet and reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Racial/ethnic segregation and poverty are both associated with dietary habits, but data linking dietary intake to neighborhood characteristics are limited, particularly in Hispanic and Asian American ethnic enclaves. This study presents relationships between neighborhood-level segregation, poverty and biologic indicators of sodium and potassium consumption. Data were from the 2010 Heart Follow-Up Study, a cross-sectional health survey, which included 24-h urine collections and self-reported health status (n = 1656). Black, Hispanic, and Asian segregated areas and neighborhood poverty were defined for aggregated zip-code areas. Multivariable models assessed the association between neighborhood segregation and poverty and sodium and potassium intake, after adjustment for individual-level covariates. In unadjusted models, potassium intake (a marker of fruit and vegetable consumption) was lower in high-versus low-Hispanic segregated neighborhoods, and the sodium-potassium ratio was higher in high-versus low black and Hispanic segregated neighborhoods, and in high-versus low-poverty neighborhoods; the sodium-potassium ratio was lower in high-versus low Asian segregated neighborhoods. Segregation and poverty were not independently associated with nutrition biomarkers after adjustment for demographics and for each other; however, practical consideration of neighborhood race/ethnic composition may be useful to understand differences in consumption.

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