Longitudinal Associations of Neighborhood Crime and Perceived Safety with Blood Pressure: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Stephanie L. Mayne*, Kari A. Moore, Tiffany M. Powell-Wiley, Kelly R. Evenson, Richard Block, Kiarri N. Kershaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: High neighborhood crime and low perceptions of safety may influence blood pressure (BP) through chronic stress. Few studies have examined these associations using longitudinal data. Methods: We used longitudinal data from 528 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (aged 45-84, nonhypertensive at baseline) who lived in Chicago, Illinois. We examined associations of changes in individual-level perceived safety, aggregated neighborhood-level perceived safety, and past-year rates of police-recorded crime in a 1, =, or = mile buffer per 1,000 population with changes in systolic and diastolic BPs using fixed-effects linear regression. BP was measured five times between 2000 and 2012 and was adjusted for antihypertensive medication use (+10 mm Hg added to systolic and +5 mm Hg added to diastolic BP for participants on medication). Models were adjusted for time-varying sociodemographic and healthrelated characteristics and neighborhood socioeconomic status. We assessed differences by sex. Results: A standard deviation increase in individual-level perceived safety was associated with a 1.54 mm Hg reduction in systolic BP overall (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.25, 2.83), and with a 1.24 mm Hg reduction in diastolic BP among women only (95% CI: 0.37, 2.12) in adjusted models. Increased neighborhood-level safety was not associated with BP change. An increase in police-recorded crime was associated with a reduction in systolic and diastolic BPs among women only, but results were sensitive to neighborhood buffer size. Conclusions: Results suggest individual perception of neighborhood safety may be particularly salient for systolic BP reduction relative to more objective neighborhood exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1032
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 3 2018


  • blood pressure
  • cohort study
  • crime
  • environment
  • hypertension
  • neighborhoods
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal Associations of Neighborhood Crime and Perceived Safety with Blood Pressure: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this