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Neighbourhood socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors: a multilevel analysis of nine cities in the Czech Republic and Germany

Dragano, N; Bobak, M; Wege, N; Peasey, A; Verde, PE; Kubinova, R; Weyers, S; ... Pikhart, H; + view all (2007) Neighbourhood socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors: a multilevel analysis of nine cities in the Czech Republic and Germany. BMC Public Health , 7 , Article 255. 10.1186/1471-2458-7-255. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Previous studies have shown that deprived neighbourhoods have higher cardiovascular mortality and morbidity rates. Inequalities in the distribution of behaviour related risk factors are one possible explanation for this trend. In our study, we examined the association between cardiovascular risk factors and neighbourhood characteristics. To assess the consistency of associations the design is cross-national with data from nine industrial towns from the Czech Republic and Germany. Methods: We combined datasets from two population based studies, one in Germany ('Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study'), and one in the Czech Republic ('Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) Study'). Participation rates were 56% in the HNR and 55% in the HAPIEE study. The subsample for this particular analysis consists of 11,554 men and women from nine German and Czech towns. Census based information on social characteristics of 326 neighbourhoods were collected from local administrative authorities. We used unemployment rate and overcrowding as area-level markers of socioeconomic status (SES). The cardiovascular risk factors obesity, hypertension, smoking and physical inactivity were used as response variables. Regression models were complemented by individual-level social status (education) and relevant covariates. Results: Smoking, obesity and low physical activity were more common in deprived neighbourhoods in Germany, even when personal characteristics including individual education were controlled for. For hypertension associations were weak. In the Czech Republic associations were observed for smoking and physical inactivity, but not for obesity and hypertension when individual-level covariates were adjusted for. The strongest association was found for smoking in both countries: in the fully adjusted model the odds ratio for 'high unemployment rate' was 1.30 [95% CI 1.02-1.66] in the Czech Republic and 1.60 [95% CI 1.29-1.98] in Germany. Conclusion: In this comparative study, the effects of neighbourhood deprivation varied by country and risk factor; the strongest and most consistent effects were found for smoking. Results indicate that area level SES is associated with health related lifestyles, which might be a possible pathway linking social status and cardiovascular disease. Individual-level education had a considerable influence on the association between neighbourhood characteristics and risk factors.

Type: Article
Title: Neighbourhood socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors: a multilevel analysis of nine cities in the Czech Republic and Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-255
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-7-255
Language: English
Additional information: © 2007 Dragano et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: All-cause mortality, self-rated health, myocardial-infarction, eastern-europe, deprived areas, deprivation, smoking, disease, inequalities, context
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/148100
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