Racial and Ethnic Differences in Obesity in People With Spinal Cord Injury: The Effects of Disadvantaged Neighborhood

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine the role of neighborhood in the relation between race and obesity in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: A cross-sectional analysis of survey data from National SCI Database linked with neighborhood data from American Community Survey by census tract. Setting: A total of 17 SCI Model Systems centers. Participants: Individuals (N=3385; 2251 non-Hispanic whites, 760 non-Hispanic blacks, 374 Hispanics) who completed a follow-up assessment during 2006-2017 (mean duration of injury, 8.3±9.9y) and resided in 2934 census tracts. Intervention: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2). Results: The overall prevalence of obesity was 52.9% (BMI≥25.0) and 23.3% (BMI≥30.0). Hispanics were 67.0% more likely to be obese (BMI≥30.0 kg/m2) relative to non-Hispanic whites (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-2.18), after controlling for demographic and injury-related characteristics. Most of the non-Hispanic blacks (66.8%) were living in neighborhoods with high concentrated disadvantaged index (CDI), compared to 35.0% of Hispanics and 9.2% of non-Hispanic whites living in this similar neighborhood status (P<.0001). After accounting for CDI, the odds of being obese in Hispanics decreased (odds ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-1.99). Regardless of race and ethnicity, people with SCI from disadvantaged neighborhoods were 42.0%-70.0% more likely to be obese than those from minimal CDI neighborhoods. Conclusions: Neighborhood characteristics partially diminish racial differences in obesity. Weight management for the SCI population should target those who are Hispanic and living in the disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wen H; Botticello AL; Bae S; Heinemann AW; Boninger M; Houlihan BV; Chen Y
  • Start Page

  • 1599
  • End Page

  • 1606
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 9