Live in a low-income neighborhood? You may be at higher risk for heart failure, according to a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The study involved 27,078 middle-aged people (average age 55; 69 percent African-American, 63 percent women) in 12 states in the southeastern United States. This area of the country has the highest prevalence of established heart-failure risk factors, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Researchers categorized study participants into three groups, from the least socioeconomically deprived to the most deprived neighborhoods, and followed up with them for an average of more than five years. During the study period, 4,300 participants were diagnosed with heart failure. According to the researchers, people who lived in the most-deprived neighborhoods in terms of wealth, education, occupation, and housing patterns had about a 5 percent higher risk for developing heart failure than those who live in less-deprived areas, after adjusting for other factors.