‘Gentrification is not improving my health’: a mixed-method investigation of multiple chronic health conditions (m-CHCs) in rapidly changing neighborhoods in Austin, Texas

Authors: Ayodeji Iyanda*, Department of Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, Yongmei Lu, Department of Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Human-Environment Geography, Environmental Perception
Keywords: multiple chronic conditions, life course theory, socioeconomic determinants of health, gentrification, m-CHCs
Session Type: Paper
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Though there are extensive studies on the impact of the environment on health, however, this relationship remains elusive and requires continuous empirical evidence. This study examined the health impact of the rapidly changing physical and cultural environment in a southern city in the United States. Drawing on the social determinants of health framework and life course theory (LCT), the current study examined the reports of multiple chronic health conditions (m-CHCs) among 331 residents in East and Southeast Austin, Texas. Using Poisson regression and Negative Binomial regression—(NB-Default and MLE), the perception of gentrification was associated with the index of m-CHCs among current residents in this study. In accordance with the LCT, childhood health was significantly associated with m-CHCs. Based on the mediation analysis, the indirect effect of gentrification through access to socioeconomic support index and historical health condition was 54% (IE = 0.538, Boot SE = 0.108, 95% CI = 0.334, 0.761) and 11% (IE = 0.108, Boot SE= 0.053, 95% CI = 0.019,0.223), respectively. This study recommends both area-based and individual level policies that can mitigate the effect of neighborhood change on residents’ health. Finally, this study further adds to the understanding of social determinants of health and complex pathways to chronic health research within the changing urban physical and socio-ecology systems.

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