Low individual socioeconomic status (SES) is known to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the extent to which the local context in which people live may influence T2DM rates remains unclear. This study examines whether living in a low property value neighbourhood is associated with higher rates of T2DM independently of individual SES.
Research design and methods
Using cross-sectional data from the Maastricht Study (2010-2013) and geographical data from Statistics Netherlands, multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the association between neighbourhood property value and T2DM. Individual SES was based on education, occupation and income. Of the 2,056 participants (aged 40-75 years), 494 (24%) were diagnosed with T2DM.
Individual SES was strongly associated with T2DM, but a significant proportion of the variance in T2DM was found at the neighbourhood level (VPC = 9.2%; 95% CI = 5.0%-16%). Participants living in the poorest neighbourhoods had a 2.38 times higher odds ratio of T2DM compared to those living in the richest areas (95% CI = 1.58-3.58), independently of individual SES.
Neighbourhood property value showed a significant association with T2DM, suggesting the usefulness of area-based programmes aimed at improving neighbourhood characteristics in order to tackle inequalities in T2DM.