The association between distance to public amenities and cardiovascular risk factors among lower income Singaporeans.
Existing evidence on the association between built environment and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors focused on the general population, which may not generalize to higher risk subgroups such as those with lower socio-economic status (SES). We examined the associations between distance to 5 public amenities from residential housing (public polyclinic, subsidized private clinic, healthier eatery, public park and train station) and 12 CVD risk factors (physical inactivity, medical histories and unhealthy dietary habits) among a study sample of low income Singaporeans aged ≥ 40 years (N = 1972). Using data from the Singapore Heart Foundation Health Mapping Exercise 2013-2015, we performed a series of logistic mixed effect regressions, accounting for clustering of respondents in residential blocks and multiple comparisons. Each regression analysis used the minimum distance (in km) between residential housing and each public amenity as an independent continuous variable and a single risk factor as the dependent variable, controlling for demographic characteristics. Increased distance (geographical inaccessibility) to a train station was significantly associated with lower odds of participation in sports whereas greater distance to a subsidized private clinic was associated with lower odds of having high cholesterol diagnosed. Increasing distance to park was positively associated with higher odds of less vegetable and fruits consumption, deep fried food and fast food consumption in the preceding week/month, high BMI at screening and history of diabetes, albeit not achieving statistical significance. Our findings highlighted potential effects of health-promoting amenities on CVD risk factors in urban low-income setting, suggesting gaps for further investigations.
Lim, KK; Kwan, YH; Tan, CS; Low, LL; Chua, AP; Lee, WY; Pang, L; Tay, HY; Chan, SY; Ostbye, T
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