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Open AccessArticle

Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities

1
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
2
Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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The Global Studies Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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Department of Information, Evidence and Research, World Health Organization, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
5
The World Health Organization Center for Health Development (The WHO Kobe Center), Kobe 651-0073, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061216
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Indicators for Policy Support)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban health; health indicators; metrics; environmental indicators urban health; health indicators; metrics; environmental indicators
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Stauber, C.; Adams, E.A.; Rothenberg, R.; Dai, D.; Luo, R.; Weaver, S.R.; Prasad, A.; Kano, M.; Heath, J. Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1216.

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