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With an ageing world population, preservation of older adults’ health and quality of life (QoL) is paramount. Due to lower levels of physical functionality, older adults are particularly susceptible to local environment influences, especially those living alone and lacking family support. Using generalised additive mixed models, we examined associations and confounder-adjusted associations between objectively-measured neighbourhood attributes and QoL domains in 909 Hong Kong Chinese elderly community dwellers. Most examined neighbourhood attributes were not associated with QoL in the whole sample. Neighbourhood residential and entertainment density was curvilinearly and/or linearly related to specific QoL domains. Number of parks was negatively associated with social QoL and having well-treed parks with higher levels of social QoL. Older adults living alone in neighbourhoods with poor access to destinations and few activities in parks showed lower environmental and/or social QoL than their counterparts. Neighbourhood built environment characteristics do not seem to impact Hong Kong older adults’ physical and psychological QoL. Medium-to-high density, well-ordered neighbourhoods with optimal mixes of well-treed public open spaces and services meeting their daily needs may significantly contribute to social and environmental QoL in this population and appear particularly important to those living alone.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.