Understanding the contributions of the neighborhood social environment to cardiovascular disease risk factors in a multi-ethnic cohort of Chicago women

Project: Research project

Project Details


Physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods are increasingly recognized as important determinants of CVD risk factors and outcomes. Several publications by our group and others have utilized U.S. Census indicators to show neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and racial/ethnic residential segregation are associated with higher CVD risk. However, studies on more specific features of the social environment are limited. This is especially problematic at a time when public health practitioners are being called on to identify salient targets for more collaborative, cross-sector (i.e., “Health in All Policies”) approaches to addressing social determinants of health. To address this gap in the field, the objective of this application is to use more novel, widely available data sources to investigate the contributions of under-studied aspects of the social environment to cardiovascular disease risk in a sample of 225 women ages 18-44 living in the city of Chicago. We will achieve this objective in part by taking advantage of Google’s “Street View” feature, which makes it possible to assess these features virtually by viewing high resolution images of neighborhoods of interest and taking a virtual “walk” through the neighborhood. We will also use a combination of business location databases, property-level housing data, and police-recorded data. Measures of CVD risk include anthropometrics, inflammation, blood pressure, eating behaviors, and physical activity. Our Specific Aims are as follows: 1) to examine associations of physical and social disorder with body mass index; 2) to assess relationships of economic disinvestment with CVD risk factors; and 3) to evaluate the influence of living in a gentrifying neighborhood on CVD risk factors. The successful execution of these aims will provide the scientific community with objective, scalable ways of capturing the features of the neighborhood social environment that are hypothesized to underlie place-based health disparities.
Effective start/end date9/23/187/31/20


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5R03HL145223-02)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.