Analyzing Black-White Disparities in Cardiovascular Health in the U.S.
February 19, 2020
Research led by Loni Philip Tabb, PhD, associate professor of Biostatistics at the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), and co-authored by Leslie Ain McClure, PhD, MS, professor and chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at DSPH; Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology; Angel Ortiz, MS, DSPH alum; Steven Melly, MS, GIS Specialist at the Urban Health Collaborative at DSPH; and researchers from the department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University and the department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, found evidence of significant spatial heterogeneity in black-white differences in optimal cardiovascular health (CVH) that varied within and between five cities in the United States.
Cardiovascular disease death rates decreased in the United States for both blacks and whites from 1968 – 2015. However, black-white disparities in CVH remains a major public health concern.
In 2015, heart disease death rates were 21 percent higher among blacks than among whites, according to research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Researchers used unique population-based data from The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Neighborhood Study to explore these disparities. They used geographically weighted regression methods to assess the spatial heterogeneity in black-white differences in health and the impact of both individual- and neighborhood-level risk factors.
Further understanding of the reasons for spatial heterogeneities in black-white differences in nationally representative groups may provide vital insights on what is causing these differences.
The study, “Assessing the spatial heterogeneity in black-white differences in optimal cardiovascular health and the impact of individual- and neighborhood-level risk factors: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA),” was published in Elsevier’s Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology Journal.
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