Neighbourhood deprivation and biomarkers of health in Britain: the mediating role of the physical environment

Chaparro, M. P., Benzeval, M., Richardson, E. and Mitchell, R. (2018) Neighbourhood deprivation and biomarkers of health in Britain: the mediating role of the physical environment. BMC Public Health, 18, 801. (doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5667-3) (PMID:29945580) (PMCID:PMC6020450)

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Abstract

Background: Neighborhood deprivation has been consistently linked to poor individual health outcomes; however, studies exploring the mechanisms involved in this association are scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate whether objective measures of the physical environment mediate the association between neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and biomarkers of health in Britain. Methods: We linked individual-level biomarker data from Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Survey (2010–2012) to neighborhood-level data from different governmental sources. Our outcome variables were forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1%; n=16,347), systolic blood pressure (SBP; n=16,846), body mass index (BMI; n=19,417), and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP; n=11,825). Our measure of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation was the Carstairs index, and the neighborhood-level mediators were levels of air pollutants (sulphur dioxide [SO2], particulate matter [PM10], nitrogen dioxide [NO2], and carbon monoxide [CO]), green space, and proximity to waste and industrial facilities. We fitted a multilevel mediation model following a multilevel structural equation framework in MPlus v7.4, adjusting for age, gender, and income. Results: Residents of poor neighborhoods and those exposed to higher pollution and less green space had worse health outcomes. However, only SO2 exposure significantly and partially mediated the association between neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and SBP, BMI, and CRP. Conclusion: Reducing air pollution exposure and increasing access to green space may improve population health but may not decrease health inequalities in Britain.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard and Benzeval, Dr Michaela
Authors: Chaparro, M. P., Benzeval, M., Richardson, E., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 18: 801
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
590681PhyBEHI: Physical built environments and health inequalitiesRichard MitchellEuropean Commission (EC)263501PhyBEHIFP7IHW - PUBLIC HEALTH