Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Good Neighbors Are Good for Your Heart, Study Says

People who felt like they were a part of their community had lower risk of heart attack

  • Print

MONDAY, Aug. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Having good neighbors may reduce your heart attack risk, new research suggests.

The study included more than 5,000 U.S. adults, average age 70, who were followed for four years. Sixty-two percent were married, and nearly two-thirds were women.

The participants were asked to rate how much they felt like they were part of their neighborhood, if their neighbors were friendly and would help them if they got into difficulty, and if they trusted most of their neighbors. Collectively, this is known as neighborhood social cohesion.

During the four years of follow-up, 148 (66 women and 82 men) had a heart attack. People who had reported higher levels of neighborhood social cohesion were less likely to suffer a heart attack, the study found.

Specifically, a single unit increase in neighborhood social cohesion was associated with a 17 percent reduced risk of heart attack, according to the findings published online Aug. 18 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The reduced heart attack risk associated with higher levels of perceived neighborhood social cohesion remained even after the researchers took other factors into account.

The results support other studies that found a connection between living in good neighborhoods and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. However, while the study found an association between the two, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

"Perceived neighborhood social cohesion could be a type of social support that is available in the neighborhood social environment outside the realm of family and friends," Eric Kim, from the department of psychology at the University of Michigan, and colleagues wrote.

The findings suggest that tight-knit neighborhoods may help encourage so-called cohesive behaviors and help prevent antisocial behaviors, the authors said in a journal news release.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart attack risk.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Has the attack on Parliament hill shaken your faith in Canada's ability to protect its citizens from terrorist threats?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google