The Impact of Community Socioeconomic Disadvantage on Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: Are Women More Vulnerable than Men?

Toshiko Kaneda, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
James B. Kirby, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS

There is a growing consensus that community characteristics influence health outcomes, even when individual-level characteristics are held constant. In this study, we extend previous research by investigating the association between community-level socioeconomic disadvantage and the likelihood of having diabetes and high blood pressure in a nationally representative sample of adults. We outline reasons to expect that maintaining an active life style and having a healthy diet might be adversely affected by community-level socioeconomic disadvantage. We further argue that women may be particularly vulnerable. Our findings suggest that, holding many individual-level factors constant, individuals living in disadvantaged communities are more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure. This relationship, however, applies only to women. Men’s odds of having diabetes or high blood pressure are unaffected by community disadvantage. We plan to examine further if there are significant differences in the above effects across women of different characteristics.

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Presented in Poster Session 6