Use of a Population-Based Survey to Describe the Health of Boston Public Housing Residents

Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 02/2008; 98(1):85-91. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.094912
Source: PubMed


We compared the health of public housing residents with other Boston residents through a random-digit-dial survey.
We used data from the Boston Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System collected in 2001 and 2003 to make crude and demographically adjusted comparisons between public housing residents and other city residents on measures of health status, access and utilization, and health behaviors.
Public housing residents were more likely to report fair or poor overall health status, ever-diagnosed hypertension, current asthma, ever-diagnosed diabetes, obesity, disability, loss of 6 or more teeth, and feelings of depression for 15 days or more in the past month. Public housing residents were slightly more likely than others to be without health insurance or report financial barriers to medical care. Public housing residents reported more smoking and physical inactivity, less past-month binge drinking and past-year marijuana use, and similar levels of lifetime drug use.
Public housing residents reported substantially poorer health than did other city residents across a variety of conditions but similar levels of access to and utilization of health care. Public health departments may be able to use established surveys to measure health among public housing residents.

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    • "The prevalence of overweight/obesity in the U.S. is substantial and is considerably higher in women with lower socio-economic status compared to other women or in men [1] [2] [3]. In urban areas, individuals with low socioeconomic status living in subsidized public housing report nearly two times higher levels of obesity compared with other urban residents [4]. Diet and physical activity behaviors related to obesity are clearly important individual-level factors, but efforts to change these factors on a population-wide basis have been largely unrealized. "
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    Contemporary Clinical Trials 11/2014; 39(2). DOI:10.1016/j.cct.2014.08.005 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    • "This is particularly true for persons living in low-income public housing, environments which are often located in distressed neighborhoods with few health promoting resources. Public housing residents report poor health status, chronic disease conditions, and poor health behaviors [23,51]. Thus it is imperative that health promotion interventions targeted and tailored to racial/ethnic minorities and low-income groups consider this constellation of risk factors in order to be effective at closing the health disparities gap. "
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