2013 Progress Report: Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD004
Title: Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core
Investigators: Diez Roux, Ana V. , Auchincloss, Amy H , Gebreab, Samson , Hickson, DeMarc A
Institution: University of Michigan , Drexel University , Jackson State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2012 through August 31,2013
Project Amount: $556,144
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Health


  1. To enhance the neighborhood-level data available in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis by adding novel data on food price and various built environment measures that can be better used to study the impact of neighborhoods on changes in cardiovascular risk.
  2. To create comparable time-varying measures of access to healthy foods, recreational facilities, and other price and built environment data for Jackson Heart Study.
  3. To create the data and infrastructure necessary to promote and sustain longitudinal analyses of neighborhood effects on cardiovascular risk that take advantage of the new environmental data in MESA and JHS including comparative analyses across cohorts, beyond the end of the short funding period of this revision.

Progress Summary:

We have completed the compilation and creation of a large number of the neighborhood-level variables planned.
JHS neighborhood and census database
We have completed the creation of the JHS geocoded address database that contains JHS participants, including: (1) latitude/longitude coordinates; (2) census tract IDs; (3) participant address move indicator; (4) neighborhood socioeconomic status measures, including % of poverty, unemployed, owner occupied housing, high school completion, managerial/professional occupation, median household income, etc.; and (5) neighborhood scale measures (see survey data below).
The database represents a total of 5,301 JHS participants, of which 4,203 participants have information for both JHS exams 1 and exam 2. Documentation including variables description and details on variable creations has also been created. The geocoded database together with the descriptive documentation and data transfer protocol has been sent to the JHS Data Coordinating Center. Once the ID replacement is complete, JHS study investigators will be able to link additional JHS collected measures with the neighborhood-level measures to conduct longitudinal analyses of neighborhood SES and health outcomes
JHS Neighborhood Survey Data
In addition to the three a priori, theoretically derived neighborhood scales (social cohesion, violence, and neighborhood problems) created in the previous year, we have also created a second set of neighborhood-scale measures characterizing four constructs (cohesion, violence, neighborhood resources, and neighborhood disorder). We used a different analytic approach to create the new scales based on identification of the items that cluster together using factor analysis. This method resulted in separate scales for neighborhood resources and problems/disorder. Census-tract level summaries for both sets of scales were created using with empirical Bayes estimation. These measures have been linked to the JHS geocoded database and are available for use by investigators to examine the role of perceived neighborhood environments (social cohesion, violence, and problem) on cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and related risk factors.
Neighborhood food environments, recreational facilities, social engagement destinations, and popular walking
In the previous year, we purchased data for food stores, recreational facilities, social engagement destinations, and popular walking destinations for years from 2000 to 2010 from National Establishment Time Series (NETS) database for the whole state of Mississippi (MS). The purpose of this data was to create densities of food stores, recreational facilities, social engagement, and popular walking destinations around JHS participants' residences for baseline exam1, exam2, and exam3 using Kernel density methods in a GIS environment. In addition to the food stores data from NETS, we have also purchased additional food stores data (large supermarkets chains including ALDI, Frys Food, Save A Lot, Smart & Final, SuperTarget, WalMart Supercenter, and Trader Joe’s) that are underrepresented in NETS. The NETS and TD data were processed and geocoded for each year using TeleAtlas EZ-Locate software consistent with the process used to geocoding the JHS addresses. The densities of food stores, recreational facilities, social engagement destinations, and popular walking destinations at ¼, ½, 1, 3, and 5 miles around each JHS participant’s residence have been completed. These measures will be linked to JHS database based on participants ID and subsequently investigators will be able to conduct longitudinal analyses to examine the impact of these environments on physical activity, obesity, diabetes and CVD related outcomes.We are also in the process of completing the purchase of price data. This purchase has been delayed to maximize the utility of the data being purchased.
Built Environment
State-level and some county-/city-level parks (GIS data format) have been obtained for the Hinds, Madison, and Rankin Counties, MS. A protocol for the use of the parks data is under development. In additon, we have completed measures of commercial, retail, and residential land use for ¼, ½, and 1 mile participant buffers, block group, and Census tract levels for Hinds County, MS, for the years 1998 and 2013. Hinds County, MS, contains approximately 72 percent of the JHS participants.
We have also completed Population density (number of people based on 2000 Census block level) measures per ¼, ½, and 1 mile participant buffers for Hinds, Madison, and Rankin Counties, MS.
Once completed, all data will be transferred to the JHS Coordinating Center for storage and use by other investigators. Comparable data on census, survey, and GIS measures have also been created for MESA.
Relevance to the protection of the environment and human health:
Identifying how various features of neighborhood physical and social environments is important to the identification of environmental interventions necessary to protect the health of the public. The creation of these measures will allow us to determine how various environmental features affect health in a large multiethnic cohort and in a large African American cohort.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 5 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Hajat A, Diez-Roux AV, Adar SD, Auchincloss AH, Lovasi GS, O'Neill MS, Sheppard L, Kaufman JD. Air pollution and individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status:evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Environmental Health Perspectives 2013;121(11-12):1325-1333. NIMHD004 (2013)
NIMHD004 (Final)
R831697 (2013)
R831697 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: EHP-Full Text PDF
  • Abstract: EHP-Abstract & Full Text HTML
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Neighborhood, cardiovascular disease, environment measures, Jackson Heart Study, MESA

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • Final Report