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Am J Public Health. 2011 Aug;101(8):1508-14. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300139. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

US Housing insecurity and the health of very young children.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Diana Becker Cutts, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA. Diana.cutts@hcmed.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated the association between housing insecurity and the health of very young children.

METHODS:

Between 1998 and 2007, we interviewed 22,069 low-income caregivers with children younger than 3 years who were seen in 7 US urban medical centers. We assessed food insecurity, child health status, developmental risk, weight, and housing insecurity for each child's household. Our indicators for housing insecurity were crowding (> 2 people/bedroom or>1 family/residence) and multiple moves (≥ 2 moves within the previous year).

RESULTS:

After adjusting for covariates, crowding was associated with household food insecurity compared with the securely housed (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18, 1.43), as were multiple moves (AOR = 1.91; 95% CI = 1.59, 2.28). Crowding was also associated with child food insecurity (AOR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.34, 1.63), and so were multiple moves (AOR = 2.56; 95% CI = 2.13, 3.08). Multiple moves were associated with fair or poor child health (AOR = 1.48; 95% CI =1.25, 1.76), developmental risk (AOR 1.71; 95% CI = 1.33, 2.21), and lower weight-for-age z scores (-0.082 vs -0.013; P= .02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Housing insecurity is associated with poor health, lower weight, and developmental risk among young children. Policies that decrease housing insecurity can promote the health of young children and should be a priority.

PMID:
21680929
PMCID:
PMC3134514
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2011.300139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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