Can housing improvements cure or prevent the onset of health conditions over time in deprived areas?

BMC Public Health

PubMedID: 26615523

Curl A, Kearns A. Can housing improvements cure or prevent the onset of health conditions over time in deprived areas?. BMC Public Health. 2015;15(1):1191.
BACKGROUND
There is a need for more evidence linking particular housing improvements to changes in specific health conditions. Research often looks at generic works over short periods.

METHODS
We use a longitudinal sample (n?=?1933) with a survey interval of 2-5 years. Multivariate logistic regression is used to calculate the odds ratios of developing or recovering from six health conditions according to receipt of four types of housing improvements.

RESULTS
Receipt of fabric works was associated with higher likelihood of recovery from mental health problems and circulatory conditions. Receipt of central heating was also associated with higher likelihood of recovery form circulatory conditions. No evidence was found for the preventative effects of housing improvements.

CONCLUSIONS
Health gain from housing improvements appears most likely when targeted at those in greatest health need. The health impacts of area-wide, non-targeted housing improvements are less clear in our study.