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Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Effects on Health Inequalities of Differential Exposure and Differential Susceptibility of Air Pollution and Environmental Noise in Barcelona, 2007–2014

by Marc Saez 1,2,3,* and Guillem López-Casasnovas 3,4,5
1
Research Group on Statistics, Econometrics and Health (GRECS), University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
2
CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain
3
Center for Research in Health and Economics (CRES), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
5
Barcelona Graduate School (BGSE), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183470
Received: 3 August 2019 / Revised: 5 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
The hypotheses we intended to contrast were, first, that the most deprived neighborhoods in Barcelona, Spain, present high exposure to environmental hazards (differential exposure) and, secondly, that the health effects of this greater exposure were higher in the most deprived neighborhoods (differential susceptibility). The population studied corresponded to the individuals residing in the neighborhoods of Barcelona in the period 2007–2014. We specified the association between the relative risk of death and environmental hazards and socioeconomic indicators by means of spatio-temporal ecological regressions, formulated as a generalized linear mixed model with Poisson responses. There was a differential exposure (higher in more deprived neighborhoods) in almost all the air pollutants considered, when taken individually. The exposure was higher in the most affluent in the cases of environmental noise. Nevertheless, for both men and women, the risk of dying due to environmental hazards in a very affluent neighborhood is about 30% lower than in a very depressed neighborhood. The effect of environmental hazards was more harmful to the residents of Barcelona’s most deprived neighborhoods. This increased susceptibility cannot be attributed to a single problem but rather to a set of environmental hazards that, overall, a neighborhood may present. View Full-Text
Keywords: exposure differential; susceptibility differential; ecological regression; spatial misalignment; spatio-temporal adjustment exposure differential; susceptibility differential; ecological regression; spatial misalignment; spatio-temporal adjustment
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Saez, M.; López-Casasnovas, G. Assessing the Effects on Health Inequalities of Differential Exposure and Differential Susceptibility of Air Pollution and Environmental Noise in Barcelona, 2007–2014. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3470.

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