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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1216: Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities

09 Jun 2018

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1216: Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061216

Authors:
Christine Stauber
Ellis A. Adams
Richard Rothenberg
Dajun Dai
Ruiyan Luo
Scott R. Weaver
Amit Prasad
Megumi Kano
John Heath

The relative significance of indicators and determinants of health is important for local public health workers and planners. Of similar importance is a method for combining and evaluating such markers. We used a recently developed index, the Urban Health Index (UHI), to examine the impact of environmental variables on the overall health of cities. We used the UHI to rank 57 of the world’s largest cities (based on population size) in low- and middle-income countries. We examined nine variables in various combinations that were available from the Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in these countries. When arranged in ascending order, the distribution of UHIs follows the previously described pattern of gradual linear increase, with departures at each tail. The rank order of cities did not change materially with the omission of variables about women’s health knowledge or childhood vaccinations. Omission of environmental variables (a central water supply piped into homes, improved sanitation, and indoor solid fuel use) altered the rank order considerably. The data suggest that environmental indicators, measures of key household level risk to health, may play a vital role in the overall health of urban communities.

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