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Perceptions of neighborhood attributes for physical activity may be influenced by individual level income. This study examined differences in perceptions of neighborhood attributes for walking and bicycling in high and low income African American women. African American women (n = 388) aged 20-65 years completed the International Physical Activity Prevalence Study's Environmental Survey Module. Independent t-tests determined differences in perceptions of neighborhood attributes by income group. Principal component factor analysis explored differences in factor structure for survey items. Low income African American women perceived their neighborhood as being less safe with regard to crime and traffic, having fewer free recreational opportunities, and having more public transportation stops nearby. Survey items weighed differently on each factor between income groups. Household income should be taken into consideration when interpreting perceptions of neighborhood for physical activity in African American women.
To advance social ecological research, tools are required to better assess the contextual nature of physical activity outcomes. This study describes the development of a detailed log booklet to capture relevant episode-specific data, including location and purpose, about participants’ free-living activity patterns. The log was developed using definitions and questions from existing physical activity questionnaires as well as measures designed to elicit more specific and detailed information relevant to social ecological studies of physical activity. Utility of the log was tested with 580 community residents over seven days. It was found to be practical and feasible for use in community-based physical activity research, and yielded a wealth of episodic information about intensity, duration, location, purpose, and co-participants, among other details.
The informational odds ratio (IOR) measures the post-exposure odds divided by the pre-exposure odds (ie, information gained after knowing exposure status). A desirable property of an adjusted ratio estimate is collapsibility (ie, the combined crude ratio will not change after adjusting for a variable that is not a confounder). Adjusted traditional odds ratios (TORs) are not collapsible. In contrast, Mantel-Haenszel adjusted IORs generally are collapsible. IORs are a useful measure of disease association in environmental case-referent studies, especially when the disease is common in the exposed and/or unexposed groups.
The New York State Department of Health has conducted a number of studies over the past 10 years investigating health impacts related to the September 11, 2001 (9/11) disaster among New York City residents and New York State World Trade Center (WTC) responders. Efforts to evaluate the health effects of WTC exposures in these cohorts presented numerous challenges, including study design and associated concerns about bias, identifying the affected populations, gaining community support and participation, and determining the most appropriate clinical testing and follow-up approaches. The unique position of a state public health agency provided multiple points of support for these efforts. An overview of what was found and the lessons learned during the response to the 9/11 disaster is presented, from the viewpoint of a state public health agency.
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