Neighborhood factors can predict risk of heart failure

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A new study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, linked socioeconomic factors at the neighborhood-level to risk of heart failure.

Researchers included 27,078 middle-aged U.S. adults in the study. They compared census tract data on socioeconomic deprivation and heart failure rates. The census tract data included neighborhood-level variables of wealth, education, occupation and housing patterns.

Study participant demographics included:

• More than 50 percent lived in the most deprived neighborhoods
• 70 percent earned less than $15,000 annually
• Nearly 39 percent had less than a high-school education
• 44 percent were obese

The study shows during a median of five years follow-up, 4,300 participants were diagnosed with heart failure. Close to 5 percent of heart failure risk was associated with neighborhood factors.

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

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