Adverse housing and neighborhood conditions and inflammatory markers among middle-aged African Americans

Mario Schootman, Elena M. Andresen, Fredric D. Wolinsky, Theodore K. Malmstrom, John E. Morley, K. Miller Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Adverse housing and neighborhood conditions are independently associated with an increased risk of various diseases and conditions. One possible explanation relates to systemic inflammation, which is associated with these adverse health outcomes. The authors investigated the association between housing and neighborhood conditions with inflammatory markers using data about 352 persons aged 49-65 years from the African American Health study. Participants were identified by a multistage random selection process in 2000 to 2001(response rate, 76%). Blood was analyzed for soluble cytokine receptors (interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor a), C-reactive protein, and adiponectin. Neighborhood and housing characteristics consisted of five observed block face conditions (external appearance of the block on which the subject lived), four perceived neighborhood conditions, four observed housing conditions (home assessment by the interviewers rating the interior and exterior of the subject s building), and census-tract level poverty rate from the 2000 census. Differences in some inflammatory markers were found by age, gender, chronic conditions, and body mass index (all Bonferroni-adjusted p< 0.0034). There was no association between any of the housing/neighborhood conditions and the pro-inflammatory markers and potential associations between some housing/neighborhood conditions and adiponectin (p<0.05, Bonferroni-adjusted p>0.0034). Inflammation does not appear to be a mediator of the association between poor housing/neighborhood conditions and adverse health outcomes in middle-aged African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Disparity
  • Geography
  • Inflammation
  • Neighborhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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