Exploring Pathways between Neighborhood Built Environment and Inflammation
Katherine King, University of Michigan
This study examines the role of the built environment in racial disparities in C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease. A probability sample of adults representative of Chicago neighborhoods, yielded CRP measures for 610 persons. Little work has explored neighborhood variation in CRP, and no studies have explored the potential role of the built environment. However, CRP is known to be associated both with physical activity and with ambient air pollution, and thus may be related to the built environment through either or both mechanisms. Initial results show blacks have significantly higher CRP than whites. Traditional controls for neighborhood context does little to reduce the racial disparity, but neighborhood-level measures of land use along with socioeconomic controls do explain the black-white gap. Continued work will seek to identify a mechanism (pollution, mental health, walkability) by which land use may influence CRP.