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Can Your Neighborhood Affect Your Blood Pressure?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

can neighborhood affect blood pressure

Story at-a-glance -

  • Living in a high-crime area is associated with increased blood pressure
  • For each 20-incident increase per 1,000 residents, the risk of high blood pressure rose by 3%
  • Each 20-incident increase boosted the risk of being admitted to the hospital due to heart problems by 6%
  • Past research found that in a densely populated, high-poverty region in Chicago, recurrent exposure to high rates of violent crime was associated with obesity and elevated blood pressure
  • Areas with high rates of violent crime also have higher rates of death from childhood asthma
  • A consistent relationship has been found between exposure to violence in childhood and cardiovascular outcomes in adulthood, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and heart attacks

Where you live affects your physical health in myriad ways, from exposure to pollution and access to green spaces to levels of crime in your neighborhood. Researchers revealed in the American Journal of Hypertension that living in a high-crime area is associated with increased blood pressure.

The findings were revealed when researchers from the University of Chicago analyzed blood pressure measurements from 17,783 adults during a surge in violent crimes that occurred in Chicago from 2014 to 2016.

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