Residential Racial Isolation and Spatial Patterning of Hypertension in Durham, North Carolina.
INTRODUCTION: Neighborhood characteristics such as racial segregation may be associated with hypertension, but studies have not examined these relationships using spatial models appropriate for geographically patterned health outcomes. The objectives of our study were to 1) evaluate the geographic heterogeneity of hypertension; 2) describe whether and how patient-level risk factors and racial isolation relate to geographic heterogeneity in hypertension; and 3) examine cross-sectional associations of hypertension with racial isolation. METHODS: We obtained electronic health records from the Duke Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse for 2007-2011. We linked patient data with data on racial isolation determined by census block of residence. We constructed a local spatial index of racial isolation for non-Hispanic black patients; the index is scaled from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating complete isolation. We used aspatial and spatial Bayesian models to assess spatial variation in hypertension and estimate associations with racial isolation. RESULTS: Racial isolation ranged from 0 (no isolation) to 1 (completely isolated). A 0.20-unit increase in racial isolation was associated with 1.06 (95% credible interval, 1.03-1.10) and 1.11 (95% credible interval, 1.07-1.16) increased odds of hypertension among non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white patients, respectively. Across Durham, census block-level odds of hypertension ranged from 0.62 to 1.88 among non-Hispanic black patients and from 0.32 to 2.41 among non-Hispanic white patients. Compared with spatial models that included patient age and sex, residual heterogeneity in spatial models that included age, sex, and block-level racial isolation was 33% lower for non-Hispanic black patients and 20% lower for non-Hispanic white patients. CONCLUSION: Racial isolation of non-Hispanic black patients was associated with increased odds of hypertension among both non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white patients. Further research is needed to identify latent spatially patterned factors contributing to hypertension.
Bravo, MA; Batch, BC; Miranda, ML
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