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Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk : Quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden

White, Justin S.; Hamad, Rita; Li, Xinjun LU ; Basu, Sanjay; Ohlsson, Henrik LU ; Sundquist, Jan LU and Sundquist, Kristina LU (2016) In The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 4(6). p.517-524
Abstract

Background: Although studies have shown associations between neighbourhood quality and chronic disease outcomes, such associations are potentially confounded by the selection of different types of people into different neighbourhood environments. We sought to identify the causal effects of neighbourhood deprivation on type 2 diabetes risk, by comparing refugees in Sweden who were actively dispersed by government policy to low-deprivation, moderate-deprivation, or high-deprivation neighbourhoods. Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, we analysed national register data for refugees who arrived in Sweden aged 25-50 years, at a time when the government policy involved quasi-random dispersal of refugees to neighbourhoods with different... (More)

Background: Although studies have shown associations between neighbourhood quality and chronic disease outcomes, such associations are potentially confounded by the selection of different types of people into different neighbourhood environments. We sought to identify the causal effects of neighbourhood deprivation on type 2 diabetes risk, by comparing refugees in Sweden who were actively dispersed by government policy to low-deprivation, moderate-deprivation, or high-deprivation neighbourhoods. Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, we analysed national register data for refugees who arrived in Sweden aged 25-50 years, at a time when the government policy involved quasi-random dispersal of refugees to neighbourhoods with different levels of poverty and unemployment, schooling, and social welfare participation. Individuals in our sample were assigned to a neighbourhood categorised as high deprivation (≥1 SD above the mean), moderate deprivation (within 1 SD of the mean), or low deprivation (≥1 SD below the mean). The primary outcome was new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes between Jan 1, 2002, and Dec 31, 2010. We used multivariate logistic and linear regressions to assess the effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk, controlling for potential confounders affecting neighbourhood assignment and assessing effects of cumulative exposure to different neighbourhood conditions. Findings: We included data for 61 386 refugees who arrived in Sweden during 1987-91 and who were assigned to one of 4833 neighbourhoods. Being assigned to an area deemed high deprivation versus low deprivation was associated with an increased risk of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1·22, 95% CI 1·07-1·38; p=0·001). In analyses that included fixed effects for assigned municipality, the increased diabetes risk was estimated to be 0·85 percentage points (95% CI -0·030 to 1·728; p=0·058). Neighbourhood effects grew over time such that 5 years of additional exposure to high-deprivation versus low-deprivation neighbourhoods was associated with a 9% increase in diabetes risk. Interpretation: This study makes use of a pre-existing governmental natural experiment to show that neighbourhood deprivation increased the risk of diabetes in refugees in Sweden. This finding has heightened importance in the context of the current refugee crisis in Europe. Funding: US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, US National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Swedish Research Council.

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published
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in
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
volume
4
issue
6
pages
8 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84964620314
  • wos:000376462800017
ISSN
2213-8587
DOI
10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30009-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
50108fb6-60cd-44fb-8af0-0ff90b0d56f6
date added to LUP
2016-05-31 13:58:57
date last changed
2017-09-24 04:57:57
@article{50108fb6-60cd-44fb-8af0-0ff90b0d56f6,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Although studies have shown associations between neighbourhood quality and chronic disease outcomes, such associations are potentially confounded by the selection of different types of people into different neighbourhood environments. We sought to identify the causal effects of neighbourhood deprivation on type 2 diabetes risk, by comparing refugees in Sweden who were actively dispersed by government policy to low-deprivation, moderate-deprivation, or high-deprivation neighbourhoods. Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, we analysed national register data for refugees who arrived in Sweden aged 25-50 years, at a time when the government policy involved quasi-random dispersal of refugees to neighbourhoods with different levels of poverty and unemployment, schooling, and social welfare participation. Individuals in our sample were assigned to a neighbourhood categorised as high deprivation (≥1 SD above the mean), moderate deprivation (within 1 SD of the mean), or low deprivation (≥1 SD below the mean). The primary outcome was new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes between Jan 1, 2002, and Dec 31, 2010. We used multivariate logistic and linear regressions to assess the effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk, controlling for potential confounders affecting neighbourhood assignment and assessing effects of cumulative exposure to different neighbourhood conditions. Findings: We included data for 61 386 refugees who arrived in Sweden during 1987-91 and who were assigned to one of 4833 neighbourhoods. Being assigned to an area deemed high deprivation versus low deprivation was associated with an increased risk of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1·22, 95% CI 1·07-1·38; p=0·001). In analyses that included fixed effects for assigned municipality, the increased diabetes risk was estimated to be 0·85 percentage points (95% CI -0·030 to 1·728; p=0·058). Neighbourhood effects grew over time such that 5 years of additional exposure to high-deprivation versus low-deprivation neighbourhoods was associated with a 9% increase in diabetes risk. Interpretation: This study makes use of a pre-existing governmental natural experiment to show that neighbourhood deprivation increased the risk of diabetes in refugees in Sweden. This finding has heightened importance in the context of the current refugee crisis in Europe. Funding: US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, US National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Swedish Research Council.</p>},
  author       = {White, Justin S. and Hamad, Rita and Li, Xinjun and Basu, Sanjay and Ohlsson, Henrik and Sundquist, Jan and Sundquist, Kristina},
  issn         = {2213-8587},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {517--524},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology},
  title        = {Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk : Quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30009-2},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2016},
}