Impact of Heart Disease Risk Factors, Respiratory Illness, Mastery, and Quality of Life on the Health Status of Individuals Living Near a Major Railyard in Southern California.

Research paper by Kelly K Baek, Semran K SK Mann, Qais Q Alemi, Akinchita A Kumar, Penny P Newman, Rhonda R Spencer-Hwang, Susanne S Montgomery

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: International journal of environmental research and public health


The potential health risks for communities that surround railyards have largely been understudied. Mastery and quality of life (QoL) have been associated with self-reported health status in the general population, but few studies have explored this variable among highly vulnerable low-income groups exposed to harmful air pollutants. This study investigates the relationship between self-reported health status and correlates of Heart Disease Risk Factors (HDRF) and Respiratory Illness (RI) with mastery and QoL acting as potential protective buffers. This cross-sectional study of 684 residents residing near a Southern California railyard attempts to address this limitation. Results from three separate hierarchal linear regressions showed that those who reported being diagnosed with at least one type of HDRF and/or RI reported lower perceived health status. For those that lived further from the railyard, mastery and QoL predicted modest increases in perceived health status. Results suggest that mastery and QoL may be helpful as tools in developing interventions but should not solely be used to assess risk and health outcomes as perceived health status may not measure actual health status.