People living in poorer neighborhoods at increased risk for death, worse health risks

December 8, 2009

Regardless of an individual's dietary and lifestyle risk factors, living in a poorer or more socioeconomically deprived neighborhood may increase a person's risk for death, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Dec. 6-9, 2009.

Researchers conducted the NIH-AARP Diet and Study and found that people living in poorer neighborhoods, as determined by U.S. Census data, reported higher health risks, including heart disease and cancer, and were more likely to die sooner regardless of lifestyle and other risk factors.

"We were expecting that once we controlled for these lifestyle and factors, the differences would go away," said Chyke Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of family medicine and community health and assistant vice provost for diversity at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "We weren't surprised by the unadjusted differences, but we were surprised that the differences persisted after controlling for lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, exercise and medical risks."

Previous data have demonstrated that people from lower socioeconomic groups have poorer health outcomes. Doubeni and colleagues prospectively evaluated whether people living in more deprived neighborhoods have a higher mortality risk.

Through the NIH-AARP study, they collected diet, lifestyle and medical history data from a prospective cohort of 565,697 participants, aged 50 to 71, from six U.S. states and two metropolitan areas during 1995 to 1996. Participants' mean age was 62 years, and the cohort consisted of 60 percent men, 91 percent non-Hispanic whites, 4 percent non-Hispanic blacks and 9 percent had a history of cancer.

Results revealed that a larger percentage of participants living in the most deprived neighborhoods reported poorer general health, higher average and lower Mediterranean diet scores, meaning that their diets were unhealthy. After Doubeni and colleagues controlled for dietary and factors, the risk for death increased as the levels of deprivation in the neighborhood increased.

"We, as practitioners, either in the health care systems or clinics, should be alert to the needs of people from these backgrounds," Doubeni said. "We need to target public health interventions to these neighborhoods that are deprived by improving health resources and the physical environments in those areas."

Doubeni and colleagues are currently evaluating how living in a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood may influence overall cancer incidence and , specifically focusing on colorectal cancer.

Source: American Association for Research (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancer

October 18, 2017
Melanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from ...

Drug yields high response rates for lung cancer patients with harsh mutation

October 18, 2017
A targeted therapy resurrected by the Moon Shots Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has produced unprecedented response rates among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that carries ...

Possible new immune therapy target in lung cancer

October 18, 2017
A study from Bern University Hospital in collaboration with the University of Bern shows that so-called perivascular-like cells from lung tumors behave abnormally. They not only inadequately support vascular structures, but ...

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

October 17, 2017
The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors ...

New bowel cancer drug target discovered

October 17, 2017
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered a new drug target for bowel cancer that is specific to tumour cells and therefore less toxic than conventional therapies.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.