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Am J Public Health. 2011 May;101(5):848-53. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300073. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Health-related quality of life among central Appalachian residents in mountaintop mining counties.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, 26506-9190, USA. kzullig@hsc.wvu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the health-related quality of life of residents in mountaintop mining counties of Appalachia using the 2006 national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

METHODS:

Dependent variables included self-rated health; the number of poor physical, poor mental, and activity limitation days (in the past 30 days); and the Healthy Days Index. Independent variables included metropolitan status, primary care physician supply, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System behavioral and demographic variables. We compared dependent variables across 3 categories: mountaintop mining (yes or no), other coal mining (yes or no), and a referent nonmining group. We used SUDAAN MULTILOG and multiple linear regression models with post hoc least squares means to test mountaintop mining effects after adjusting for covariates.

RESULTS:

Residents of mountaintop mining counties reported significantly more days of poor physical, mental, and activity limitation and poorer self-rated health (P < .01) compared with the other county groupings. Results were generally consistent in separate analyses by gender and age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mountaintop mining areas are associated with the greatest reductions in health-related quality of life even when compared with counties with other forms of coal mining.

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