Neighborhoods and Aging


The most recent MESA Neighborhoods grant focuses on social, natural, and built environment features related to aging-related outcomes, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. This includes the addition of measures that capture neighborhood cognitive resources, factors impacting mobility, and healthcare access. It extends previous research to understand how social determinants shift neighborhoods to influence disparities in chronic disease as MESA participants age.

Selected Publications

  • Besser, L. M., Chang, L. C., Hirsch, J. A., Rodriguez, D. A., Renne, J., Rapp, S. R., … & Hughes, T. M. (2021). Longitudinal Associations between the Neighborhood Built Environment and Cognition in US Older Adults: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. International journal of environmental research and public health18(15), 7973.
  • Besser, L. M., Chang, L. C., Evenson, K. R., Hirsch, J. A., Michael, Y. L., Galvin, J. E., … & Hughes, T. M. (2021). Associations between neighborhood park access and longitudinal change in cognition in older adults: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease82(1), 221-233.
  • Besser, L. M., Hirsch, J., Galvin, J. E., Renne, J., Park, J., Evenson, K. R., … & Fitzpatrick, A. L. (2020). Associations between neighborhood park space and cognition in older adults vary by US location: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Health & place66, 102459.
  • Hirsch, J. A., Grunwald, H. E., Miles, K. L., & Michael, Y. L. (2021). Development of an instrument to measure perceived gentrification for health research: Perceptions about changes in environments and residents (PACER). SSM-population health15, 100900.


Jana A. Hirsch, MES PhD

PI, MESA Neighborhoods and Aging Grant