The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4031.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 9:10 AM

Abstract #70428

Mapping healthy and unhealthy neighborhoods using cluster analysis and GIS: Analysis of the Nashville REACH 2010 community survey

David G. Schlundt, PhD1, Celia Larson, PhD2, Nasar U. Ahmed, PhD3, Heather Keith, BS2, Linda McClellan, MPH4, and Michelle Marrs, EdM5. (1) Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, 301 Wilson Hall, Nashville, TN 37203, (615) 322-7800,, (2) Division of Research and Evaluation, Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Health Department, 311 23rd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203, (3) Clinical Research Center, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Campus Box A4, 1005 D.B. Todd Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, (4) Project REACH 2010, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Care Center, 1501 Herman Street, Nashville, TN 37208, (5) Executive Director, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Care Center, 1501 Herman Street, Nashville, TN 37208

Are some neighborhoods healthier places to live? What neighborhood characteristics are associated with health, and can these relationships shed light on ethnic health disparities? A random telephone baseline survey for Nashville REACH 2010 was conducted with 1,824 residents of North Nashville and 1190 residents of the rest of Nashville. Using a geographic information system (GIS), respondents were geocoded and data were aggregated by census tract and linked to the 2000 census data. 117 of the 144 Nashville census tracts, for which there was sufficient survey data, were grouped using hierarchical cluster analysis (Ward’s method) based on means within census tracts for measures of health status (e.g., prevalence of diabetes) eating behaviors (e.g., emotional eating), and physical activity. Seven clusters were identified and interpreted by comparing cluster means on the health, eating, and activity variables and were named 1) unhealthy but trying (n=10), 2) unhealthy and not trying (n=24), 3) unhealthy with poor diet (n=18), 4) healthy with poor diet (n=13), 5) overweight and unhealthy (n=10), 6) lean with eating problems (n=26), and 7) healthy but inactive (n=16). Health and behavior clusters were strongly associated with demographic and socioeconomic variables including race, marital status, use of public transportation, length of commute, education, and income. There are strong connections (between 12% and 50% of the variance) between behavior and socioeconomic environment at the level of census tracts in Nashville, Tennessee. These relationships may be relevant to understanding racial health disparities and setting public health policy.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Environment

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Social Determinants of Health - How local Environments Affect biological, psychological and social health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA