Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Location. Location. Location.

When buying and selling real estate, the phrase is a realtor's mantra.

It is also the central theme of a recently released journal report on factors that can predict heart risk.

According to new research in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, almost 5 percent of heart failure risk was connected to neighborhood factors.

"What we have now found is evidence suggesting that characteristics of your place of residence play a significant role in influencing heart failure risks above and beyond an individual's cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic indicators of individual income and educational level," said Loren Lipworth, Sc.D., research associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and co-senior author of the paper. "Prior evidence has shown that a person's socioeconomic information is a predictor for chronic disease.

"What our findings imply is that there is an opportunity for possible interventions that center on the community related to availability of resources like exercise outlets, and medical facilities."

The study compared census tract data on socioeconomic deprivation - a collection of neighborhood-level variables of wealth, education, occupation and housing patterns - and heart failure rates among 27,078 middle-aged participants from Southeastern states. The participants were from the Southern Community Cohort Study, an ongoing prospective investigation of cancer and other chronic conditions in a largely resource-limited, underinsured group living in 12 Southeastern states.

More than 50 percent of the participants lived in the most deprived neighborhoods. Seventy percent earned less than $15,000 annually; nearly 39 percent had less than a high-school education and 44 percent were obese.

During a median of five years of follow-up in the study, 4,300 participants were diagnosed with heart failure.

"The local environment in which we live matters to our health," said Deepak Gupta, MD, assistant professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt and co-senior author. "The surprise in our results was the magnitude to which neighborhood characteristics account for the risk of heart failure."

Gupta, a cardiologist, said individualized treatment to reduce traditional risk factors like hypertension, diabetes and obesity may not be enough to prevent heart failure and hopes fellow cardiologists will appreciate the breadth of what influences a patient's health.

"Hopefully our findings will motivate some current and future physicians to expand our roles in healthcare delivery and advocacy to opportunities outside of standard clinic and hospital-based practice," said Gupta.

The researchers hope the findings raise awareness among prevention and advocates to consider the role of environment and community health resources in the evaluation of health risks.

"Public policy professionals need to pay attention to the neighborhood, not just the individuals, because your place of residence does predict your risk of failure," said Elvis Akwo, MD, PhD, first author of the study and a research fellow at the Medical Center. "Improved community-level resources may ultimately reduce the risk of in these communities.

"These are merely suggestions on what could have some impact. We hope that our study will open the door for experimental studies for interventions and what kinds of measures can be tested to improve the cardiovascular health of entire communities, not just one person at a time."

Explore further: Silent myocardial infarction linked to heart failure risk

More information: Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes (2018). DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.117.004052

Related Stories

Silent myocardial infarction linked to heart failure risk

January 3, 2018
(HealthDay)—Silent myocardial infarction (SMI) is associated with an increased long-term risk of heart failure, according to a study published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Preventing heart failure risk factors in midlife substantially lowers risk

November 28, 2016
Preventing the development of hypertension, obesity and diabetes by the age of 45 to 55 years may lead up to an 86 percent lower risk for heart failure through the remainder of life, according to research published today ...

Risk factors explain most heart failure risk in incident A-fib

June 19, 2017
(HealthDay)—Four modifiable factors account for most of the population attributable risk of heart failure among women with new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online June 14 in JACC: Heart ...

Drinking coffee may be associated with reduced risk of heart failure and stroke

November 14, 2017
Drinking coffee may be associated with a decreased risk of developing heart failure or having stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global ...

Cardiorespiratory fitness impacts BMI-related heart failure risk

April 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased risk of heart failure, which is largely explained by differences in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), according to a study published online April 5 in ...

Neighborhood's socioeconomic status tied to readmissions

August 11, 2014
(HealthDay)—Neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) is linked to six-month, all-cause readmission among patients with heart failure, even after adjustment for patient-level factors, according to a study published online ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover new genes associated with heart function

July 17, 2018
A new study from an international research team, led by Dr. Yalda Jamshidi at St George's, University of London, has identified new genes associated with heart function and development.

Southern diet could be deadly for people with heart disease

July 12, 2018
People with a history of heart disease who eat a traditional Southern diet are more likely to die than those who follow a Mediterranean dietary pattern, according to new research.

Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says

July 11, 2018
Decades ago, hundreds of nuns and priests made an extraordinary decision: They agreed to donate their brains upon death to science, hoping to help solve mysteries about Alzheimer's and other diseases. Now, a study that used ...

Multivitamins do not promote cardiovascular health

July 10, 2018
Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death, according to a new analysis of 18 studies published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American ...

Mobile health devices diagnose hidden heart condition in at-risk populations

July 10, 2018
Wearable mobile health devices improved the rate of diagnosis of a dangerous and often hidden heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to a first of its kind, home-based clinical study conducted in part ...

Chronic heart disease poses high financial burden to low-income families

July 3, 2018
The financial burdens of long-term care for a family member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) disproportionately affect low-income American families, even those who have insurance, found researchers at Yale ...

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.