BACKGROUND: Residential segregation, a geospatial manifestation of structural racism, is a fundamental driver of racial and ethnic health inequities, and longitudinal studies examining segregation’s influence on cardiovascular health are limited. This study investigates the impact of segregation on hypertension in a multiracial and multiethnic cohort and explores whether neighborhood environment modifies this association. METHODS AND RESULTS: Leveraging data from a diverse cohort of adults recruited from 6 sites in the United States with 2 decades of follow-up, we used race-and ethnicity-stratified Cox models to examine the association between time-varying segregation with incident hypertension in 1937 adults free of hypertension at baseline. Participants were categorized as residing in segregated and nonsegregated neighborhoods using a spatial-weighted measure. We used a robust covariance matrix estimator to account for clustering within neighborhoods and assessed effect measure modification by neighborhood social or physical environment. Over an average follow-up of 7.35 years, 65.5% non-Hispanic Black, 48.1% Chinese, and 53.7% Hispanic participants developed hypertension. Net of confounders, Black and Hispanic residents in segregated neighborhoods were more likely to develop hypertension relative to residents in nonsegregated neighborhoods (Black residents: hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 95% CI, 1.09–1.62; Hispanic residents: HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04–1.70). Results were similar but not significant among Chinese residents (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.83–1.73). Among Black residents, neighborhood social environment significantly modified this association such that better social environment was associated with less pronounced impact of segregation on hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: This study underscores the importance of continued investigations of groups affected by the health consequences of racial residential segregation while taking contextual neighborhood factors, such as social environment, into account.
- health equity
- neighborhood environment
- racial residential segregation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine