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Dr. Marianne C. Fahs and Dr. William T. Gallo publish: The influence of neighborhood factors on the quality of life of older adults attending New York City senior centers: results from the Health Indicators Project

May 25, 2011 | Research Brief

Dr. Marianne C. Fahs is a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and Co- Director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity.  Dr. William T. Gallo is a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. Here is the  abstract of their most recent publication appearing in the journal Quality of Life Research:

The influence of neighborhood factors on the quality of life of older adults attending New York City senior centers: results from the Health Indicators Project.

Friedman D, Parikh NS, Giunta N, Fahs MC, Gallo WT.
PURPOSE: To examine the association between self-assessed quality of life (QOL) and perceived neighborhood safety, social cohesion, and walkability among older adults in New York City (NYC)

METHODS: We used data from the 2008 Health Indicators Project, a cross-sectional survey of 1,870 older adults attending 56 NYC senior centers. QOL, a binary measure, was created by dichotomizing a 5-point Likert-scaled global assessment. Neighborhood safety, social cohesion, and walkability were multi-component scale variables that were standardized due to varying response metrics. Multivariate binomial logistic regression analysis was performed on 1,660 participants with complete data.

RESULTS: After adjusting for covariates, QOL was significantly associated with neighborhood safety and social cohesion. A one-standard deviation increase in neighborhood safety and social cohesion increased the log odds of having higher QOL by 30% (odds ratio (OR) = 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14, 1.48; P ≤ 0.001) and 36% (OR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.16, 1.59; P ≤ 0.001), respectively. Higher QOL was not significantly associated with neighborhood walkability.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study underscore the need for initiatives that focus on enhancing age-friendly neighborhood features in large urban centers such as NYC and beyond.