Neighborhood and environment factors play an important role in health. If you feel that there is a problem in your neighborhood, then you are less likely to make healthy choices. For Latinos, neighborhood problems can therefore impact their ability to manage their diabetes.
More about neighborhood problems and diabetes in Latinos
People who live in poor neighborhoods have a higher risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Environment plays a big role in one’s health and ability to follow doctors’ guidelines for diabetes management. For example, if a neighborhood does not have places to exercise or buy healthy foods, it is difficult to exercise and change to a healthy diet.
The neighborhood problems among rural Latinos directly relate to health behavior and diabetes. The six neighborhood factors include problems of crime, access to exercise facilities, trash and litter, lighting at night, access to public transportation, and access to supermarkets.
Of those six, crime is the most common. 48% of participants felt they had at least one neighborhood problem. Participants with neighborhood problems are more likely to have a high body mass index (BMI) and high blood pressure. In addition, they are less likely to exercise, eat healthy food, take their medicine, and perform self-exams compared to those without neighborhood problems. Latinos with neighborhood issues are less likely to make healthy choices that directly affect their management of diabetes.
Overall, this study found that rural Latinos with diabetes who feel that they have neighborhood problems tend to have a higher body mass index and higher blood pressure than those who don’t feel that they have neighborhood problems.