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Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Neighborhood resources for physical activity and healthy foods and their association with insulin resistance

Publication Abstract

Auchincloss, A.H., A.V. Roux, Daniel Brown, C.A. Erdmann, and A.G. Bertoni. 2008. "Neighborhood resources for physical activity and healthy foods and their association with insulin resistance." Epidemiology, 19(1): 146-157.

Objective: Little is known about the influence of the built environment, and in particular neighborhood resources, on health. We hypothesized that neighborhood resources for physical activity and healthy foods are associated with insulin resistance.

Methods: Person-level data (n = 2026) came from 3 sites of The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a study of adults aged 45-84 years. Area-level data were derived from a population-based residential survey. The homeostasis model assessment index was used as an insulin resistance measure among persons not treated for diabetes. We used linear regression to estimate associations between area features and insulin resistance.

Results: Greater neighborhood physical activity resources consistently were associated with lower insulin resistance. Adjusted for age, sex, family history of diabetes, race/ethnicity, income and education, insulin resistance was reduced by 17% (95% confidence interval = -31% to -1%) for an increase from the 10th to 90th percentiles of resources. Greater healthy food resources were also inversely related to insulin resistance, although the association was not robust to adjustment for race/ethnicity. Analyses including diet, physical activity, and body mass index suggested that these variables partly mediated observed associations. Results were similar when impaired fasting glucose/diabetes was considered as the outcome variable.

Conclusion: Diabetes prevention efforts may need to consider features of residential environment.

DOI:10.1097/EDE.0b013e31815c480 (Full Text)

Public Access Link

Country of focus: United States of America.

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