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Background: Neighborhood environments have been regularly associated with the weight status. Although the evidence is mostly limited to adults residing in western urban settings, the weight status of older adults living in rural areas is also assumed to be significantly affected by their neighborhood environments. This study aimed to identify environmental attributes specific to rural areas that could affect the risk of longitudinal weight gain among older adults (≥ 65 years) in Japan. Methods: We examined five environmental attributes, i.e., land slope, public transportation accessibility, residential density, intersection density, and the availability of parks and recreational centers, measured by the geographic information system. Our analysis was based on 714 subjects participated in Shimane Community-based Healthcare Research and Education study in 2012 and 2015. Multinomial logistic regression model was conducted to examine the association between each neighborhood environmental attribute and weight change status (gain, loss and unchanged). Results: We observed a significant increase in the risk of weight gain as the steepness of the neighborhood land slope increased. There was no significant association between other environmental attributes and risk of weight gain as well as weight loss among older adults. Conclusion: Living in hilly neighborhoods was associated with increased risk of weight gain among rural Japanese older adults. Future research should consider region-specific environmental attributes when investigating their effect on older adults' weight status.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
- Older adults
- Weight change
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