FRIDAY, July 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Residing in a highly segregated neighborhood is associated with significantly lower life expectancy, according to a research letter published online July 14 in JAMA Health Forum.
Sadiya S. Khan, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues evaluated the association between neighborhood-level residential segregation and life expectancy using 2010 to 2015 data from the U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project and sociodemographic factors self-reported from the American Community Survey (2010 to 2014).
The researchers found that in the 63,694 included census tracts, mean life expectancy was 78.3 years and was significantly lower in neighborhoods with higher racial segregation (high, 75.1 years; medium, 77.3 years; and low, 79.3 years). A higher mean percentage of residents lacked a college education in highly segregated versus low segregated neighborhoods (81 versus 69 percent). Results were similar for residents living below the federal poverty level (24 versus 11 percent) and for those who were unemployed (16 versus 8 percent). There was significant mediation of the association between racial segregation and life expectancy by education (β −0.201), poverty (β −0.270), and unemployment (β −0.052), but the association remained independently significant.
“These findings contribute to growing evidence of place-based disadvantage due to residential segregation that limit access to health-promoting factors (e.g., education, employment, wealth) and may enhance exposure to health-harming factors (e.g., air pollution) in contemporary estimates of life expectancy,” the authors write.
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