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Am J Public Health. 2013 Jun;103(6):e47-53. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301275. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Health effects of neighborhood demolition and housing improvement: a prospective controlled study of 2 natural experiments in urban renewal.

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1
Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office, Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We took advantage of a 2-intervention natural experiment to investigate the impacts of neighborhood demolition and housing improvement on adult residents' mental and physical health.

METHODS:

We identified a longitudinal cohort (n = 1041, including intervention and control participants) by matching participants in 2 randomly sampled cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2006 and 2008 in 14 disadvantaged neighborhoods of Glasgow, United Kingdom. We measured residents' self-reported health with Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey version 2 mean scores.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for potential confounders and baseline health, mean mental and physical health scores for residents living in partly demolished neighborhoods were similar to the control group (mental health, b = 2.49; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -1.25, 6.23; P = .185; physical health, b = -0.24; 95% CI = -2.96, 2.48; P = .859). Mean mental health scores for residents experiencing housing improvement were higher than in the control group (b = 2.41; 95% CI = 0.03, 4.80; P = .047); physical health scores were similar between groups (b = -0.66; 95% CI = -2.57, 1.25; P = .486).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that housing improvement may lead to small, short-term mental health benefits. Physical deterioration and demolition of neighborhoods do not appear to adversely affect residents' health.

PMID:
23597345
PMCID:
PMC3670654
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2013.301275
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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