Neighborhood racial residential segregation and changes in health or death among older adults

We assessed relationships between neighborhood racial residential segregation (RRS), individual-level health declines and mortality using Health and Retirement Study data. We calculated the census-tract level Location Quotient for Racial Residential Segregation (LQRRS), and estimated adjusted relative risks (ARR) of LQRRS for declines in self-reported health or death 1992–2000, controlling for individual-level characteristics. Of 6653 adults, 3333 lived in minimal, 2242 in low, 562 in moderate, and 516 in high LQRRS tracts in 1992. Major decline/death rates were: 18.6%, 25.2%, 33.8% and 30.4% in minimal, low, moderate and high tracts, respectively. Adjusting for demographic characteristics, residence in low, moderate and high LQRRS census tracts was associated with greater likelihood of major decline/death compared to minimal LQRRS. Controlling for all variables, only moderate LQRRS predicted major decline/death, ARR=1.31 (95% CI 1.07, 1.59; p<.05).