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Health Place. 2010 Mar;16(2):331-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Health status and health behaviours in neighbourhoods: a comparison of Glasgow, Scotland and Hamilton, Canada.

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Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.


Health status has been demonstrated to vary by neighbourhood socioeconomic status (SES). However, neighbourhood effects may vary between countries. In this study, neighbourhood variations in health outcomes are compared across four socially contrasting neighbourhoods in Glasgow, Scotland and Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Data came from the 2001 wave of the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Longitudinal Study and a 2000/2001 cross-sectional survey conducted in Hamilton. The results of the comparison point to important variations in the relationship between neighbourhood SES and health. While both cities display a socioeconomic gradient with respect to various measures of health and health behaviours, for some outcome measures the high SES neighbourhoods in Glasgow display distributions similar to those found in the low SES neighbourhoods in Hamilton. Our results suggest that a low SES neighbourhood in one country may not mean the same for health as a low SES neighbourhood in another country. As such, country context may explain the distribution of health status and health behaviours among socially contrasting neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood variations in health may be context specific.

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