Abstract: Even though health inequalities are conditioned by many aspects of the environment, much of the existing research focuses on the social environment. This emphasis has the effect to neglect other environmental aspects such as its physical dimension. The physical environment, which is linked to housing conditions, may contribute to the uneven distribution of health. In this study, we examined 19 housing-related issues among a representative sample of 2,000 adults residing in a Quebec (Canada) health region characterized by a mix of rural, semi-rural, and urban areas. The distribution of these issues was examined according to socioeconomic and geographic indicators of social position. Summary measures of inequalities were assessed. Our results showed that the prevalence of nearly all housing-related issues was higher among low-income households compared to more affluent ones. Highly educated individuals showed better housing conditions, whereas different issues tended to cluster in deprived or densely populated areas. To conclude, we observed steep gradients between social class and poor housing conditions. This may explain a substantial part of health inequality on the regional scale. The surveillance of housing-related issues is therefore essential to properly inform and mobilize local stakeholders and to develop interventions that target vulnerable groups on this level.
Keywords: environmental health; epidemiological surveillance; social conditions; socioeconomic factors; geography, medical; inequalities; public health
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Roy, M.; Généreux, M.; Laverdière, É.; Vanasse, A. Surveillance of Social and Geographic Inequalities in Housing-Related Issues: The Case of the Eastern Townships, Quebec (Canada). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4825-4844.
Roy M, Généreux M, Laverdière É, Vanasse A. Surveillance of Social and Geographic Inequalities in Housing-Related Issues: The Case of the Eastern Townships, Quebec (Canada). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(5):4825-4844.
Roy, Mathieu; Généreux, Mélissa; Laverdière, Émélie; Vanasse, Alain. 2014. "Surveillance of Social and Geographic Inequalities in Housing-Related Issues: The Case of the Eastern Townships, Quebec (Canada)." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 5: 4825-4844.