Over the last two decades, research has assessed the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic factors and individual health. However, existing research is based almost exclusively on cross-sectional data, ignoring the complexity in health transitions that may be shaped by long-term residential exposures. We address these limitations by specifying distinct health transitions over multiple waves of a 15-year study of American adults. We focus on transitions between a hierarchy of health states, (free from health problems, onset of health problems, and death), not just gradients in a single health indicator over time, and use a cumulative measure of exposure to neighborhoods over adulthood. We find that cumulative exposure to neighborhood disadvantage has significant effects on functional decline and mortality. Research ignoring a persons’ history of exposure to residential contexts over the life course runs the risk of underestimating the role of neighborhood disadvantage on health.