Segregation and Cardiovascular Illness: The Role of Individual and Areal Socioeconomic Status

Antwan Jones, Bowling Green State University
Franklin Goza, Bowling Green State University

Demographic and epidemiological research suggests that both socioeconomic status (SES) and residential segregation are associated with cardiovascular health. We use the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and the 2005 American Community Survey (ACS) to investigate how segregation and SES (individual and areal) impact hypertension. Multilevel analyses indicate that both segregation and hypersegregation are associated with hypertension, net of individual and areal SES. While individual and areal SES have independent effects on hypertension, these effects also seem to differ across segregation type. In segregated and hypersegregated environments, highly educated or high-earning individuals seem to be most protected against hypertension. In extremely hypersegregated areas, areas with very little interaction with non-black residents, SES does not seem to have any protective benefit. These findings reveal that SES has differential effects across types of segregation and that hypertension in disadvantaged (extremely hypersegregated) areas may be a function of structural constraints rather than socioeconomic position.

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Presented in Session 83: Community and Neighborhood Influences on Health and Mortality