Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

No Man is an Island: The Impact of Neighborhood Disadvantage on Mortality

Gaskin, Darrell and Roberts, Eric and Chan, Kitty and McCleary, Rachael and Buttorff, Christine and Delarmente, Benjo (2019) No Man is an Island: The Impact of Neighborhood Disadvantage on Mortality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (7). p. 1265. ISSN 1660-4601

Published Version

Download (521kB) | Preview


This study’s purpose is to determine if neighborhood disadvantage, air quality, economic distress, and violent crime are associated with mortality among term life insurance policyholders, after adjusting for individual demographics, health, and socioeconomic characteristics. We used a sample of approximately 38,000 term life policyholders, from a large national life insurance company, who purchased a policy from 2002 to 2010. We linked this data to area-level data on neighborhood disadvantage, economic distress, violent crime, and air pollution. The hazard of dying for policyholders increased by 9.8% (CI: 6.0–13.7%) as neighborhood disadvantage increased by one standard deviation. Area-level poverty and mortgage delinquency were important predictors of mortality, even after controlling for individual personal income and occupational status. County level pollution and violent crime rates were positively, but not statistically significantly, associated with the hazard of dying. Our study provides evidence that neighborhood disadvantage and economic stress impact individual mortality independently from individual socioeconomic characteristics. Future studies should investigate pathways by which these area-level factors influence mortality. Public policies that reduce poverty rates and address economic distress can benefit everyone’s health.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gaskin, Darrell
Roberts, Ericeric.roberts@pitt.edueric.roberts0000-0002-7439-0799
Chan, Kitty
McCleary, Rachael
Buttorff, Christine
Delarmente, Benjo
Date: 9 April 2019
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 16
Number: 7
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 1265
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/ijerph16071265
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: social determinants, health, neighborhood disadvantage, mortality, socioeconomic status
ISSN: 1660-4601
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 15:07
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 15:07


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item