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Title: Independent and joint contributions of economic, social and physical environmental characteristics to mortality in the Detroit Metropolitan Area: A study of cumulative effects and pathways.

Authors: Schulz, Amy J; Omari, Amel; Ward, Melanie; Mentz, Graciela B; Demajo, Ricardo; Sampson, Natalie; Israel, Barbara A; Reyes, Angela G; Wilkins, Donele

Published In Health Place, (2020 Sep)

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have demonstrated associations between race-based residential segregation, neighborhood socioeconomic and physical environmental characteristics, and mortality. Relatively few studies have examined independent and joint effects of these multiple neighborhood characteristics and mortality, including potential mediating pathways. In this study we examine the extent to which associations between race-based residential segregation and all-cause mortality may be explained by multiple socioeconomic indicators and exposure to air pollutants. METHODS: Drawing on data from multiple sources, we assessed bivariate associations between race-based residential segregation (operationalized as percent non-Hispanic Black), education (percent with graduate equivalency degree), poverty (percent below poverty), income inequality (GINI coefficient) and air pollution (ambient PM2.5) and age adjusted all-cause, all race mortality (henceforth all cause mortality) at the census tract level in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. We used inequality curves to assess the (in)equitable distribution of economic and environmental characteristics by census tract racial composition. Finally, we used generalized estimating equations (GEE) to examine independent and joint associations among percent NHB, education, income inequality, and air pollution to all-cause mortality, and test for mediating effects. RESULTS: Bivariate associations between racial composition, education, poverty, income inequality, PM2.5 and all-cause mortality were statistically significant. Census tracts with higher concentrations of NHB residents had significantly lower educational attainment, higher poverty, and greater exposure to PM2.5. In multivariate models, education, income inequality and PM2.5 fully attenuated associations between racial composition and all-cause mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Results are consistent with the hypothesis that race-based residential segregation is associated with heightened all-cause mortality, and that those effects are mediated by education, income inequality, and exposure to air pollution at the census tract level. Public health and cross-sector interventions to eliminate race-based residential segregation or to eliminate the maldistribution of educational and economic resources, and environmental exposures, across census tracts could substantially reduce regional inequities in all-cause mortality.

PubMed ID: 32738606 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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