Longitudinal trends in gasoline price and physical activity: The CARDIA study

Ningqi Hou, Barry M. Popkin, David R. Jacobs, Yan Song, David K. Guilkey, Ka He, Cora E. Lewis, Penny Gordon-Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate longitudinal associations between community-level gasoline price and physical activity (PA). Method: In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, 5115 black and white participants aged 18-30 at baseline 1985-86 were recruited from four U.S. cities (Birmingham, Chicago, Minneapolis and Oakland) and followed over time. We used data from 3 follow-up exams: 1992-93, 1995-96, and 2000-01, when the participants were located across 48 states. From questionnaire data, a total PA score was summarized in exercise units (EU) based on intensity and frequency of 13 PA categories. Using Geographic Information Systems, participants' residential locations were linked to county-level inflation-adjusted gasoline price data collected by the Council for Community & Economic Research. We used a random-effect longitudinal regression model to examine associations between time-varying gasoline price and time-varying PA, controlling for age, race, gender, baseline study center, and time-varying education, marital status, household income, county cost of living, county bus fare, census block-group poverty, and urbanicity. Results: Holding all control variables constant, a 25-cent increase in inflation-adjusted gasoline price was significantly associated with an increase of 9.9. EU in total PA (95% CI: 0.8-19.1). Conclusion: Rising prices of gasoline may be associated with an unintended increase in leisure PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Analysis is supported by R01-CA12115, R01-CA109831 and R01-HL104580. The CARDIA study is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [ N01-HC-95095 , N01-HC-48047-48050 , and N01-HC-05187 ]. Additional funding comes from NIH The CARDIA Fitness Study [ R01 HL078972 ] from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, UNC-CH Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) [ NIH P30-ES10126 ], the UNC-CH Clinic Nutrition Research Center [ NIH DK56350 ], and the Carolina Population Center ; and from contracts with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Coordinating Center , N01-HC-95095 ; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Field Center , N01-HC-48047 ; University of Minnesota, Field Center , N01-HC-48048 ; Northwestern University, Field Center , N01-HC-48049 ; and Kaiser Foundation Research Institute , N01-HC-48050 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


  • Economics
  • GIS
  • Longitudinal study
  • Obesity
  • Young adults


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