Objectives. This study examined the prevalence, social correlates, and clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors in a predominantly Black, poor, urban community. Methods. Associations of risk factor prevalences with sociodemographic variables were examined in a population-based sample of 695 men and women aged 18 to 65 years living in Central Harlem. Results. One third of the men and women were hypertensive, 48% of the men and 41% of the women were smokers, 25% of the men and 49% of the women were overweight, and 23% of the men and 35% of the women reported no leisure-time physical activity over the past month. More than 80% of the men and women had at least 1 of these risk factors, and 9% of the men and 19% of the women had 3 or more risk factors. Income and education were inversely related to hypertension, smoking, and physical inactivity. Having 3 or more risk factors was associated with low income and low education (extreme odds ratio [OR]=10.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]=3.0, 34.5 for education; OR=3.7, CI=1.6, 8.9 for income) and with a history of unstable work or of homelessness. Conclusions. Disadvantaged, urban communities are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. These results highlight the importance of socioenvironmental factors in shaping cardiovascular risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health