Built environment and health

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Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 08/2008; 47(3):239-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.07.010
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Available from: David Berrigan, Aug 22, 2014
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    • "Specifically, GIS provides a platform connecting the individual with the environment allowing researchers to inspect the distribution of diseases and investigate potentially modifiable ecological explanations for disease clusters, which may clarify the aetiology of health-related events (Chen et al., 2008; Du et al., 2010). The spatial data that could objectively describe the physical environment are increasingly used to understand how the physical environment is associated with, for example, obesity, asthma and stress-related outcomes (Maantay, 2002; Berrigan and McKinnon, 2008; Tucker et al., 2009; Matthews and Yang, 2010). Clearly, a spatial perspective and spatial modelling should facilitate the examination of the local dynamics between population and environment (Fotheringham, 1997; Haining, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Beyond individual-level factors, researchers have adopted a spatial perspective to explore potentially modifiable environmental determinants of health. A spatial perspective can be integrated into health research by incorporating spatial data into studies or analysing georeferenced data. Given the rapid changes in data collection methods and the complex dynamics between individuals and environment, we argue that geographical information system (GIS) functions have shortcomings with respect to analytical capability and are limited when it comes to visualizing the temporal component in spatio-temporal data. In addition, we maintain that relatively little effort has been made to handle spatial heterogeneity. To that end, health researchers should be persuaded to better justify the theoretical meaning underlying the spatial matrix in analysis, while spatial data collectors, GIS specialists, spatial analysis methodologists and the different breeds of users should be encouraged to work together making health research move forward through addressing these issues.
    Geospatial health 05/2013; 7(2):161-8. DOI:10.4081/gh.2013.77 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Municipalities all over the globe seek to evaluate the sustainability of their communities and this process requires an interdisciplinary perspective. Walkability and social capital are important measures of sustainable communities that are not necessarily considered together in measurement schemes. Through a community-based case study, the following article examines the relationship between select measures of social capital and self-perceived walkability. Descriptive statistics demonstrated that higher levels of social capital existed in more walkable communities. More sophisticated analysis further supported this association. A community index was created from responses to questions about participating in civic engagement activities such as donating blood, attending a committee meeting or public hearing, interacting with individuals in various neighborhoods, and contributing to a community project. A trust index was also created with answers to survey questions about general trust and trust of neighbors and other members of communities. Multilevel models demonstrated that higher levels of walkability were associated with higher levels of participation in community activities, even after controlling for socio-demographic factors. Similar patterns were found for the trust index where higher levels of walkability were positively associated with positive responses to a variety of trust questions. Implications for sustainable communities policy and management are suggested.
    06/2012; 2(2). DOI:10.1007/s13412-012-0068-x
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    ABSTRACT: For decades, racial residential segregation has been observed to vary with health outcomes for African Americans, although only recently has interest increased in the public health literature. Utilizing a systematic review of the health and social science literature, the authors consider the segregation-health association through the lens of 4 questions of interest to epidemiologists: How is segregation best measured? Is the segregation-health association socially or biologically plausible? What evidence is there of segregation-health associations? Is segregation a modifiable risk factor? Thirty-nine identified studies test an association between segregation and health outcomes. The health effects of segregation are relatively consistent, but complex. Isolation segregation is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes and increased mortality for blacks, but several studies report health-protective effects of living in clustered black neighborhoods net of social and economic isolation. The majority of reviewed studies are cross-sectional and use coarse measures of segregation. Future work should extend recent developments in measuring and conceptualizing segregation in a multilevel framework, build upon the findings and challenges in the neighborhood-effects literature, and utilize longitudinal data sources to illuminate opportunities for public health action to reduce racial disparities in disease.
    Epidemiologic Reviews 07/2009; 31(1):178-94. DOI:10.1093/epirev/mxp001 · 6.67 Impact Factor
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