Longitudinal Effects of Transportation Vulnerability on the Association Between Racial/Ethnic Segregation and Youth Cardiovascular Health

Emily M. D’Agostino, Hersila H. Patel, Eric Hansen, M. Sunil Mathew, Sarah E. Messiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Transportation vulnerability (defined as lack of personal/public transportation access) is particularly prevalent in areas with high racial/ethnic segregation where communities typically lack proximity to quality education, jobs, healthy food, playgrounds, and medical care. Prior research has shown an association between residential segregation and youth cardiovascular health, although little work has examined the effects of transportation vulnerability on this relationship. Methods: Longitudinal mixed methods were used to compare the effects of transportation vulnerability on the association between changes in exposure to residential segregation (defined as the uneven geographic distribution of minorities) and five cardiovascular health outcomes across sex in minority youth for up to four consecutive years of participation in an afterschool fitness program during 2010–2018 (n = 2742; Miami-Dade County, Florida, US). Results: After accounting for child race/ethnicity, age, year, and poverty, girls with high transportation vulnerability and reduced exposure to segregation (vs. increased or no change in segregation) showed the most improvements across all outcomes, including body mass index percentile (26% (95% CI 23.84, 28.30)), sum of skinfold thicknesses (18% (95% CI 14.90, 20.46)), run time (17% (95% CI 14.88, 18.64)), systolic blood pressure percentile (15% (95% CI 11.96, 17.08)), and diastolic blood pressure percentile (12% (95% CI 9.09, 14.61)). Conclusion: Transportation inequities related to concentrated racial/ethnic segregation may be an important factor in reducing disparities in youth cardiovascular health, particularly among girls. These study findings provide important longitudinal evidence in support of health interventions to reduce transportation vulnerability for racial/ethnic minority youth in underserved areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-629
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Cardiovascular health
  • Fitness
  • Health disparities
  • Racial/ethnic segregation
  • Transportation vulnerability
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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