Special Issue "Health Disparities in Urban Areas"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Melody Goodman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biostatistics, College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
Interests: biostatistics; community Health; community-based participatory research; dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs; health disparities; health equity; minorities; minority health; quantitative research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is substantial evidence in the public health literature to demonstrate that place, where one lives, works, plays and prays, impacts health information access and health outcomes. Demographic characteristics of urban centers are changing and these changes can impact the social determinants of health, but in some cases not all population subgroups are impacted equally.

Health disparity research has several phases, each phase asks different types of questions. Phase I—detection—determine if disparities exist.  Phase 2—understanding—determines root causes of health disparities. Phase 3—solutions is focused on developing, testing and implementation of potential solutions to address health disparities. We already have a vast amount of literature on the detection phase and it is necessary to focus our efforts on understanding the root causes and developing sustainable solutions that address modifiable risk factors.

This Special Issue seeks papers on urban health disparities that are on the understanding and solution phases. We are interested in all forms of disparities (e.g., racial/ethnic, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation) that impact vulnerable populations across a broad range of health outcomes (e.g., access, food environment, mental health, physical health).

Dr. Melody Goodman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Health disparities
  • Urban health
  • Food access
  • Obesity
  • Chronic disease
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • segregation
  • community engagement

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Health Disparities in Czechia and Portugal at Country and Municipality Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071139 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article investigates the health outcomes and determinants between two different European populations, Portuguese and Czech, on two hierarchical levels: country and metropolitan area. At first, the decomposition method of age and cause of death were compared on the country level, and then [...] Read more.
This article investigates the health outcomes and determinants between two different European populations, Portuguese and Czech, on two hierarchical levels: country and metropolitan area. At first, the decomposition method of age and cause of death were compared on the country level, and then health was examined based on a factor analysis at the municipality level of Prague and Lisbon. The results clearly indicate problematic diabetes mortality among the Portuguese population, and especially in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, and confirm the dominant role of circulatory mortality and cancer mortality among Czech, especially the Prague population. The social and economic deprivations were revealed as the major drivers for both metropolitan areas, although with differences between them, requiring interventions that go beyond the health sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Analyzing the Association Between Depression and High-Risk Sexual Behavior Among Adult Latina Immigrant Farm Workers in Miami-Dade County
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071120 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Latinas are often more affected by HIV due to their socio-economic and demographic profiles and are also less likely to receive proper mental health care. Latina immigrants are often even more vulnerable due to socio-economic and cultural factors that place them at higher [...] Read more.
Latinas are often more affected by HIV due to their socio-economic and demographic profiles and are also less likely to receive proper mental health care. Latina immigrants are often even more vulnerable due to socio-economic and cultural factors that place them at higher risk. The current study seeks to examine the association between depression and risky sexual behaviors among adult Latina immigrants from a farm working community in South Miami-Dade County, (Florida, USA). Cross-sectional secondary data analysis was used for responses from a community-based participatory research (CBPR) study. Out of 234 Latina immigrants, 15% reported being depressed and 80% were reported as having engaged in risky sexual behavior. Although no association was found between depression and high-risk sexual behavior, significant secondary findings present associations between risky sexual behavior and low sexual relationship power, interpersonal violence, and relationship status. Implications for future research on depression and risky sexual behaviors among this population are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)
Open AccessArticle
Neighborhood Tax Foreclosures, Educational Attainment, and Preterm Birth among Urban African American Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060904 - 13 Mar 2019
Abstract
Ecological evidence suggests that neighborhoods with more tax foreclosures also have more adverse birth outcomes. However, whether neighborhood-level tax foreclosures impact individual-level risk for adverse birth outcomes is unknown. We assessed whether living in a neighborhood with high tax foreclosures is associated with [...] Read more.
Ecological evidence suggests that neighborhoods with more tax foreclosures also have more adverse birth outcomes. However, whether neighborhood-level tax foreclosures impact individual-level risk for adverse birth outcomes is unknown. We assessed whether living in a neighborhood with high tax foreclosures is associated with a woman’s preterm birth (PTB) risk and tested for effect modification by educational attainment, among urban African American women from the Life Influence on Fetal Environments Study (2009–2011; n = 686). We linked survey and medical record data to archival, block-group level tax foreclosure data from the county treasurer. We used Modified Poisson regression with robust error variance and included a foreclosure X education interaction in adjusted models. In the overall sample, neighborhood tax foreclosures did not predict PTB (adjusted relative risk: 0.93, CI: 0.74, 1.16), but the association was modified by educational attainment (interaction p = 0.01). Among women with lower education (n = 227), neighborhood tax foreclosures did not predict PTB risk. The association for women with higher education (n = 401) was statistically significant for a reduction in risk for PTB (adjusted relative risk: 0.74, CI: 0.55, 0.98) among those who lived in neighborhoods with high versus low tax foreclosures. Future studies should seek to identify the mechanisms of this association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)
Open AccessArticle
Mortality Characteristics of Two Populations in the Northern Mediterranean (Croatia) in the Period 1960–2012: An Ecological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112591 - 20 Nov 2018
Abstract
In the second half of the 20th century, the town of Bakar (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia), where a coking plant was operational 1978–1994, experienced intensive industrialisation. The town of Mali Lošinj (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia) in this period based its economy on non-industrial [...] Read more.
In the second half of the 20th century, the town of Bakar (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia), where a coking plant was operational 1978–1994, experienced intensive industrialisation. The town of Mali Lošinj (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia) in this period based its economy on non-industrial sectors. The study goal was comparing mortality characteristics of these populations in the northern Mediterranean for 1960–2012. An ecological study design was used. Data were analysed for 1960–2012 for the deceased with recorded place of residence in the study area. Data on the deceased for 1960–1993 were taken from death reports, for 1994–2012 from digital archives of the Teaching Institute of Public Health, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. Data on causes of death for 1960–1994 were recoded to the three-digit code of underlying cause of death according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD–10). Among studied populations significant difference was found among the causes of deaths coded within ICD–10 chapters: neoplasms (particularly stomach carcinoma), mental and behavioural disorders and diseases of the respiratory system (particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD)). Increase in mortality from neoplasms, increase in respiratory diseases for the area exposed to industrial pollution, also stomach carcinoma and COPD particularly in the town Bakar require further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Chinese Urban Hui Muslims’ Access to and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Diseases-Related Health Information from Different Sources
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092021 - 15 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research aims to identify the sources that urban Hui Muslims access to get health information related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and how they evaluate the information from different sources. This paper focuses on health information related to cardiovascular diseases among Hui Muslims. [...] Read more.
This research aims to identify the sources that urban Hui Muslims access to get health information related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and how they evaluate the information from different sources. This paper focuses on health information related to cardiovascular diseases among Hui Muslims. The data was gathered by means of an online survey administered on mobile devices. To put the answers given by Hui Muslims into perspective and make a comparison between Hui Muslims and the Han people, we also gathered information from Han—the dominant group in China. The results showed that Chinese Hui Muslims mostly used mediated sources, while Han people mainly used interpersonal sources. Both Hui Muslims and Han people trusted and preferred health information about cardiovascular diseases provided by health organizations, doctors, and healthcare providers. The information given by religious leaders was trusted the least, although Hui Muslims were significantly more positive about religious authority than the Han people. The current results are relevant for Chinese health information promoters and can help them diffuse CVD health information more effectively to urban Hui Muslims. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)

Review

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Open AccessReview
The State of Public Health Lead Policies: Implications for Urban Health Inequities and Recommendations for Health Equity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061064 - 24 Mar 2019
Abstract
Although lead has been removed from paint and gasoline sold in the U.S., lead exposures persist, with communities of color and residents in urban and low-income areas at greatest risk for exposure. The persistence of and inequities in lead exposures raise questions about [...] Read more.
Although lead has been removed from paint and gasoline sold in the U.S., lead exposures persist, with communities of color and residents in urban and low-income areas at greatest risk for exposure. The persistence of and inequities in lead exposures raise questions about the scope and implementation of policies that address lead as a public health concern. To understand the multi-level nature of lead policies, this paper and case study reviews lead policies at the national level, for the state of California, and for Santa Ana, CA, a dense urban city in Southern California. Through a community-academic partnership process, this analysis examines lead exposure pathways represented, the level of intervention (e.g., prevention, remediation), and whether policies address health inequities. Results indicate that most national and state policies focus on establishing hazardous lead exposure levels in settings and consumer products, disclosing lead hazards, and remediating lead paint. Several policies focus on mitigating exposures rather than primary prevention. The persistence of lead exposures indicates the need to identify sustainable solutions to prevent lead exposures in the first place. We close with recommendations to reduce lead exposures across the life course, consider multiple lead exposure pathways, and reduce and eliminate health inequities related to lead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Disparities in Urban Areas)
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