Data_Sheet_1_The neighborhood context and all-cause mortality among older adults in Puerto Rico.PDF (269.09 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_The neighborhood context and all-cause mortality among older adults in Puerto Rico.PDF

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posted on 2023-03-09, 04:57 authored by Catherine García, Marc A. Garcia, Mary McEniry, Michael Crowe

Recent efforts have been made to collect data on neighborhood-level attributes and link them to longitudinal population-based surveys. These linked data have allowed researchers to assess the influence of neighborhood characteristics on the health of older adults in the US. However, these data exclude Puerto Rico. Because of significantly differing historical and political contexts, and widely ranging structural factors between the island and the mainland, it may not be appropriate to apply current knowledge on neighborhood health effects based on studies conducted in the US to Puerto Rico. Thus, we aim to (1) examine the types of neighborhood environments older Puerto Rican adults reside in and (2) explore the association between neighborhood environments and all-cause mortality.


We linked data from the 2000 US Census to the longitudinal Puerto Rican Elderly Health Conditions Project (PREHCO) with mortality follow-up through 2021 to examine the effects of the baseline neighborhood environment on all-cause mortality among 3,469 participants. Latent profile analysis, a model-based clustering technique, classified Puerto Rican neighborhoods based on 19 census block group indicators related to the neighborhood constructs of socioeconomic status, household composition, minority status, and housing and transportation. The associations between the latent classes and all-cause mortality were assessed using multilevel mixed-effects parametric survival models with a Weibull distribution.


A five-class model was fit on 2,477 census block groups in Puerto Rico with varying patterns of social (dis)advantage. Our results show that older adults residing in neighborhoods classified as Urban High Deprivation and Urban High-Moderate Deprivation in Puerto Rico were at higher risk of death over the 19-year study period relative to the Urban Low Deprivation cluster, controlling for individual-level covariates.


Considering Puerto Rico's socio-structural reality, we recommend that policymakers, healthcare providers, and leaders across industries to (1) understand how individual health and mortality is embedded within larger social, cultural, structural, and historical contexts, and (2) make concerted efforts to reach out to residents living in disadvantaged community contexts to understand better what they need to successfully age in place in Puerto Rico.