Make your home page

Feeling safe from crime linked with lower risks of heart attack and death

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Feeling safe from crime is associated with a 9% lower risk of premature death and 6% lower likelihood of a heart attack, according to a study of more than 35,000 adults presented at ESC Congress 2023.

“There is increasing evidence that the neighborhood we live in affects our health,” said Dr. Mengya Li, study author for the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases in Beijing, China. “This study highlights the importance of many aspects of our surroundings for heart health and longevity, including feeling safe, having shops, transport, parks close by, cleanliness, and feeling that our neighborhood is a good place to live and raise children.”

The researchers used data to investigate the association between neighborhood characteristics, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and death. The study included 35,730 adults aged 35 to 70 years from 115 communities (70 urban and 45 rural) in 12 provinces of China between 2005 and 2009. The average age of participants was 51 years and 60% were women.

The researchers analyzed the associations between each subscale and the total score and health outcomes after adjusting for factors that could influence the relationships including age, sex, body mass index, education, household income, marital status, tobacco consumption, alcohol consumption, physical activity, household cooking fuel, pollution, history of CVD, high blood pressure, diabetes ,and regular medications.

“While some of the percentage reductions in risk are small, they affect large numbers of people and therefore could have a wide-ranging impact,” said Dr. Li. “The findings can be used by policymakers to take action to mitigate the adverse effect of poor community conditions on health, such as improving local amenities, transport connectivity, providing green spaces and street lighting, and building paths for walking, running, and cycling.”