The Neighborhood Environment and Hispanic/Latino Health

Natalia I. Heredia, Tianlin Xu, Min Jae Lee, Lorna H. McNeill, Belinda M. Reininger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hispanic/Latino adults on the Texas-Mexico border have high rates of chronic disease. Neighborhoods can influence health, though there is a limited research on neighborhood environment and health in Hispanics/Latinos. The purpose of this study was to assess the relation of neighborhood environment with health variables in Hispanic/Latino adults, including physical activity [PA], depression, anxiety, and lab-assessed conditions (type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and chronic inflammation). Methods: Participants were randomly-selected from a Hispanic/Latino cohort on the Texas-Mexico border. Neighborhood environment, self-reported PA, anxiety, and depression were assessed through questionnaires. Laboratory values determined Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and C-reactive protein (CRP). We conducted multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses to assess the associations of neighborhood environment and health variables, controlling for covariates. Results: Participants (n = 495) were mostly females, without insurance. After controlling for covariates, crime (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 1.59 (95%CI 1.06-2.38), no streetlights (AOR = 1.65, 95%CI 1.06-2.57), and traffic (AOR = 1.74, 95%CI 1.16-2.62) were all significantly associated with anxiety. Only traffic was significantly associated with depression (AOR = 1.61, 95%CI1.05-2.47). A lack of nearby shops (AOR = 0.57, 95%CI 0.38-0.84) and no one out doing PA (AOR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.34-0.83) were both significantly associated with lower odds of meeting PA guidelines. A lack of nearby shops was associated with a 26% increase in the CRP value (β = 0.26, 95%CI 0.04-0.47). Discussion: Several neighborhood environment variables were significantly associated with mental health, PA and CRP, though estimates were small. The neighborhood environment is a meaningful contextual variable to consider for health-related interventions in Hispanic/Latino adults, though more study is needed regarding the magnitude of the estimates. Trial registration: NCT01168765.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Mexican American
  • active living
  • anxiety
  • built environment
  • c-reactive protein
  • community
  • crime
  • depression
  • environmental health
  • health disparities
  • inflammation
  • mental health
  • metabolic syndrome
  • neighborhood
  • opportunity
  • physical activity
  • specific settings
  • traffic
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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