Journal of Urban Health

Publisher: New York Academy of Medicine, Springer Verlag


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    Journal of urban health (Online)
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Springer Verlag

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study investigated pleasure-related, partner-related, and social normative correlates of recent condom refusal in young Black men (YBM). A cross-sectional study of YBM (N = 561) attending clinics treating sexually transmitted diseases in three cities was conducted. Mean age was 19.6 years (SD = 1.87). Nearly one of every two young men (46.8 %) indicated recent refusal to use a condom after a request from their partner. Significant findings included the following: partner-related beliefs "I feel closer to my partner without a condom" (OR = 2.52, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.65-3.83) and "condoms make sex hurt for the female partner" (OR = 1.69, 95 % CI = 1.14-2.52), a scale measure of pleasure-related beliefs (OR = 2.58, 95 % CI = 1.73-3.84), and a scale measure of negative social beliefs associated with condom usage (OR = 1.05, 95 % CI = 1.00 - 1.10). Interventions addressing pleasure-related, partner-related, and social normative beliefs as barriers to condom use are warranted for YBM.
    Journal of Urban Health 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and neighborhood factors have been linked to asthma, and the association between indoor allergens and asthma is well documented, few studies have examined the relationship between these factors and indoor allergens. We examined the frequency of reported indoor allergens and differences by racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and neighborhood characteristics among a diverse sample of Los Angeles households. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to analyze the data from 723 households from wave 2 of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. The reported presence of rats, mice, cockroaches, mold, pets, and tobacco smoke were the primary outcomes of interest. Hispanic and Asian households had a nearly threefold increase in the odds of reporting cockroaches compared to non-Hispanic Whites (OR, 2.85; 95 % CI 1.38-5.88 and OR, 2.62; 95 % CI 1.02-6.73, respectively) even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors. Primary caregivers who had obtained a high school degree were significantly less likely to report the presence of mice and cockroaches compared to primary caregivers with less than a high school degree (OR, 0.19; 95 % CI 0.08-0.46 and OR, 0.39; 95 % CI 0.23-0.68, respectively). Primary caregivers with more than a high school degree were also less likely to report the presence of rats, mice, and cockroaches within their households, compared to those with less than a high school degree. Compared to renters, home owners were less likely to report the presence of mice, cockroaches, and mold within their households. At the neighborhood level, households located within neighborhoods of high concentrated poverty (where the average poverty rate is at least 50 %) were more likely to report the presence of mice and cockroaches compared to households in low concentrated poverty neighborhoods (average poverty rate is 10 % or less), after adjusting for individual race/ethnicity and socioeconomic characteristics. Our study found evidence in support of neighborhood-level racial/ethnic and socioeconomic influences on indoor allergen exposure, above and beyond individual factors. Future studies should continue to explore individual and neighborhood-level racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in household allergen exposures across diverse contexts.
    Journal of Urban Health 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Harm reduction approaches endeavor to assist individuals with avoiding the most detrimental consequences of risk taking behaviors, but limited research has documented the outcomes of harm reduction substance abuse treatment. In total, 211 methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in two outcome studies of substance abuse treatment programs that were implementing an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention (i.e., the Matrix Model) from a harm reduction perspective. Study 1 (N = 123) examined changes in self-reported substance use, Addiction Severity Index (ASI) composite scores, and HIV care indicators over a 12-month follow-up. Study 2 (N = 88) assessed changes in substance use, sexual risk taking, and HIV care indicators over a 6-month follow-up. Participants in study 1 reported reductions in cocaine/crack use as well as decreases in the ASI drug and employment composite scores. Among HIV-positive participants in study 1 (n = 75), 47 % initiated or consistently utilized anti-retroviral therapy and this was paralleled by significant increases in self-reported undetectable HIV viral load. Study 2 participants reported reductions in methamphetamine use, erectile dysfunction medication use in combination with other substances, and sexual risk-taking behavior while using methamphetamine. Participants in both studies reported concurrent increases in marijuana use. Taken together, these studies are among the first to observe that clients may reduce stimulant use and concomitant sexual risk-taking behavior during harm reduction substance abuse treatment. Randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the differential effectiveness of harm reduction and abstinence-based approaches to substance abuse treatment.
    Journal of Urban Health 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Available urban health metrics focus primarily on large area rankings. Less has been done to develop an index that provides information about level of health and health disparities for small geographic areas. Adopting a method used by the Human Development Index, we standardized indicators for small area units on a (0, 1) interval and combined them using their geometric mean to form an Urban Health Index (UHI). Disparities were assessed using the ratio of the highest to lowest decile and measurement of the slope of the eight middle deciles (middle; 80 %) of the data. We examined the sensitivity of the measure to weighting, to changes in the method, to correlation among indicators, and to substitution of indicators. Using seven health determinants and applying these methods to the 128 census tracts in the city of Atlanta, USA, we found a disparity ratio of 5.92 and a disparity slope of 0.54, suggesting substantial inequality and heterogeneity of risk. The component indicators were highly correlated; their systematic removal had a small effect on the results. Except in extreme cases, weighting had a little effect on the rankings. A map of Atlanta census tracts exposed a swath of high disparity. UHI rankings, ratio, and slope were resistant to alteration in composition and to non-extreme weighting schemes. This empirical evaluation was limited to a single realization, but suggests that a flexible tool, whose method rather than content is standardized, may be of use for local evaluation, for decision making, and for area comparison.
    Journal of Urban Health 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In October 2012, Bellevue Hospital Center (Bellevue) in New York City was temporarily closed as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the largest hurricane in US history. Bellevue's primary care office-based buprenorphine program was temporarily closed and later relocated to an affiliate public hospital. Previous research indicates that the relationships between disaster exposure, substance use patterns, psychiatric symptoms, and mental health services utilization is complex, with often conflicting findings regarding post-event outcomes (on the individual and community level) and antecedent risk factors. In general, increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is associated with both greater disaster exposure and the development or exacerbation of other psychiatric symptoms and need for treatment. To date, there is limited published information regarding post-disaster outcomes among patients enrolled in office-based buprenorphine treatment, as the treatment modality has only been relatively approved recently. Patients enrolled in the buprenorphine program at the time of the storm were surveyed for self-reported buprenorphine adherence and illicit substance and alcohol use, as well as disaster-related personal consequences and psychiatric sequelae post-storm. Baseline demographic characteristics and insurance status were available from the medical record. Analysis was descriptive (counts and proportions) and qualitative, coding open-ended responses for emergent themes. There were 132 patients enrolled in the program at the time of the storm; of those, 91 were contacted and 89 completed the survey. Almost half of respondents reported disruption of their buprenorphine supply. Unexpectedly, patients with psychiatric comorbidity were no more likely to report increased use/relapse as a result. Rather, major risk factors associated with increased use or relapse post-storm were: (1) shorter length of time in treatment, (2) exposure to storm losses such as buprenorphine supply disruption, (3) a pre-storm history of red flag behaviors (in particular, repeat opioid-positive urines), and (4) new-onset post-storm psychiatric symptoms. Our findings highlight the relative resilience of buprenorphine as an office-based treatment modality for patients encountering a disaster with associated unanticipated service disruption. In responding to future disasters, triaging patient contact and priority based on a history of red-flag behaviors, rather than a history of psychiatric comorbidity, will likely optimize resource allocation, especially among recently enrolled patients. Additionally, patients endorsing new-onset psychiatric manifestations following disasters may be an especially high-risk group for poor outcomes, warranting further study.
    Journal of Urban Health 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In the USA, homicide is a leading cause of death for young males and a major cause of racial disparities in life expectancy for men. There are intense debate and little rigorous research on the effects of firearm sales regulation on homicides. This study estimates the impact of Missouri's 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase (PTP) handgun law on states' homicide rates and controls for changes in poverty, unemployment, crime, incarceration, policing levels, and other policies that could potentially affect homicides. Using death certificate data available through 2010, the repeal of Missouri's PTP law was associated with an increase in annual firearm homicides rates of 1.09 per 100,000 (+23 %) but was unrelated to changes in non-firearm homicide rates. Using Uniform Crime Reporting data from police through 2012, the law's repeal was associated with increased annual murders rates of 0.93 per 100,000 (+16 %). These estimated effects translate to increases of between 55 and 63 homicides per year in Missouri.
    Journal of Urban Health 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are experiencing high and rising rates of HIV infection, more than any other age-risk group category in the USA. Contributors to HIV risk in this group remain incompletely elucidated. We conducted exploratory qualitative interviews with 20 HIV-positive YBMSM aged 17-24 and found that father-son relationships were perceived to be important sociocontextual influences in participants' lives. Participants discussed the degree of their fathers' involvement in their lives, emotional qualities of the father-son relationship, communication about sex, and masculine socialization. Participants also described pathways linking father-son relationships to HIV risk, which were mediated by psychological and situational risk scenarios. Our thematic analysis suggests that father-son relationships are important to the psychosocial development of YBMSM, with the potential to either exacerbate or attenuate sexual risk for HIV. Interventions designed to strengthen father-son relationships may provide a promising direction for future health promotion efforts in this population.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have evaluated population-level risk factors for having a bedbug infestation. We describe characteristics associated with bedbug complaints among New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents. Unique households receiving bedbug extermination services in response to a complaint during January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011 were identified from NYCHA's central facilities work order database. We examined associations between household characteristics and having a bedbug complaint using a generalized estimating equation Poisson regression model, accounting for clustering by housing development. Of the 176,327 NYCHA households, 11,660 (6.6 %) registered a bedbug complaint during 2010-2011. Bedbug complaints were independently associated with households having five or more children versus no children (prevalence ratio [PR] = 2.0), five or more adults versus one adult (PR = 1.6), a head of household (HOH) with impaired mobility (PR = 1.3), a household member receiving public assistance (PR = 1.2), a household income below poverty level (PR = 1.1), and a female HOH (PR = 1.1). Infestations were less likely to be reported by households with employed members (PR = 0.9), and an HOH aged 30-44 years (PR = 0.9) or 45-61 years (PR = 0.9), compared with an HOH aged 18-29 years. These results indicate that bedbug control efforts in public housing should be targeted toward households with low income and high occupancy.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: While studies have consistently shown that in the USA, non-Hispanic Blacks (Blacks) have higher diabetes prevalence, complication and death rates than non-Hispanic Whites (Whites), there are no studies that compare disparities in diabetes mortality across the largest US cities. This study presents and compares Black/White age-adjusted diabetes mortality rate ratios (RRs), calculated using national death files and census data, for the 50 most populous US cities. Relationships between city-level diabetes mortality RRs and 12 ecological variables were explored using bivariate correlation analyses. Multivariate analyses were conducted using negative binomial regression to examine how much of the disparity could be explained by these variables. Blacks had statistically significantly higher mortality rates compared to Whites in 39 of the 41 cities included in analyses, with statistically significant rate ratios ranging from 1.57 (95 % CI: 1.33-1.86) in Baltimore to 3.78 (95 % CI: 2.84-5.02) in Washington, DC. Analyses showed that economic inequality was strongly correlated with the diabetes mortality disparity, driven by differences in White poverty levels. This was followed by segregation. Multivariate analyses showed that adjusting for Black/White poverty alone explained 58.5 % of the disparity. Adjusting for Black/White poverty and segregation explained 72.6 % of the disparity. This study emphasizes the role that inequalities in social and economic determinants, rather than for example poverty on its own, play in Black/White diabetes mortality disparities. It also highlights how the magnitude of the disparity and the factors that influence it can vary greatly across cities, underscoring the importance of using local data to identify context specific barriers and develop effective interventions to eliminate health disparities.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent declines, racial segregation remains a detriment to minority neighborhoods. However, existing research is inconclusive as to the effects racial segregation has on health. Some argue that racial segregation is related to poor health outcomes, whereas others suspect that racial segregation may actually lead to improved health for some minority communities. Even less is known about whether minority access to white neighborhoods improves health. We address these gaps with individual data from the 2010 Public Health Management Corporation's Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey and census tract data from the 2010 Decennial Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey. We implement logistic multilevel models to determine whether and how a resident's self-rated health is affected by the racial/ethnic segregation of their neighborhoods. Our key finding suggests that the effects of segregation on self-rated health depend on an individual's race/ethnicity, with blacks and Latino residents most likely to experience adverse effects. Particularly, minorities living in predominantly white communities have a significantly higher likelihood to report poor/fair health than they would in segregated minority neighborhoods. These findings make clear that access to white neighborhoods is not sufficient to improve minority health; fuller neighborhood integration is necessary to ensure all have health equity.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the course of homelessness among youth between the ages of 18 and 25 despite the many characteristics distinguishing them from adolescents and from older street-involved populations. We examined the residential trajectories of homeless young adults in Montréal over a 21-month period and identified determinants of various trajectory profiles. The 365 study participants (79 % men, mean age 21.9 years) were followed for an average of 515 days (range 81-630 days). We assessed housing status with a questionnaire based on the residential follow-back calendar designed by the New Hampshire Dartmouth Research Center. Using latent growth analysis to examine achievement of residential stability over time, we observed three different trajectories: group 1 presented a low probability of housing throughout the entire study period; group 2 showed a high probability of early and stable housing; group 3 displayed a fluctuating pattern. Protective correlates of residential stability included high school education, birth in Canada, and presence of mental health problems. Drug abuse or dependence was associated with a decreased probability of housing.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: There is considerable evidence demonstrating the positive impact of pedometers and walking programs for increasing physical activity and reducing risk for cardiovascular disease among diverse populations. However, no interventions have been targeted towards South Asian taxi drivers, a population that may be at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Supporting South Asian Taxi Drivers to Exercise through Pedometers (SSTEP) was a 12-week pilot study among South Asian taxi drivers to increase their daily step counts. SSTEP assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of an exercise intervention employing pedometers, a step diary, written materials, and telephone follow-up to initiate or increase physical activity in this at-risk occupational group. Seventy-four drivers were recruited to participate at sites frequented by South Asian taxi drivers. Participant inclusion criteria were: (1) age 18 or over; (2) birthplace in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh; (3) fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, or Bengali; and (4) intention to remain in New York City for the 3-month study period. Comprehensive intake and exit questionnaires were administered to participants in their preferred languages. Intake and exit health screenings, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose were completed. Daily step counts were obtained 4 days after recruitment, and at the 4-, 8-, and 12-week mark via phone calls. To measure the impact of the intervention, step counts, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index were compared at intake and exit. Participants in SSTEP were sedentary at baseline. The SSTEP intervention resulted in a small increase in step counts among participants overall, and in a significant increase (>2,000 steps) among a subset ("Bigsteppers"). Drivers with higher baseline glucose values had significantly greater improvements in their step counts. Focused lifestyle interventions for drivers at high risk for cardiovascular disease may be particularly impactful.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The practice of selling single cigarettes (loosies) through an informal economy is prevalent in urban, low socioeconomic (low SES) communities. Although US state and federal laws make this practice illegal, it may be occurring more frequently with the recent increase in taxes on cigarettes. This investigation provides information concerning the illegal practice of selling single cigarettes to better understand this behavior and to inform intervention programs and policymakers. A total of 488 African American young adults were recruited and surveyed at two education and employment training programs in Baltimore City from 2005 to 2008. Fifty-one percent of the sample reported smoking cigarettes in the past month; only 3.7 % of the sample were former smokers. Approximately 65 % of respondents reported seeing single cigarettes sold daily on the street. Multivariate logistic regression modeling found that respondents who reported seeing single cigarettes sold on the street several times a week were more than two times as likely to be current smokers compared to participants who reported that they never or infrequently saw single cigarettes being sold, after controlling for demographics (OR = 2.16; p = 0.034). Tax increases have led to an overall reduction in cigarette smoking. However, smoking rates in urban, low SES communities and among young adults remain high. Attention and resources are needed to address the environmental, normative, and behavioral conditions influencing tobacco use and the disparities it causes. Addressing these factors would help reduce future health care costs and save lives.
    Journal of Urban Health 02/2014;

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