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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4119.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 1:24 PM

Abstract #109413

Broken Windows and Health: Housing, Collective Efficacy, and Health Outcomes

Deborah A. Cohen, MD, MPH, Health, RAND Corporation, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310 393-0411 ext 6023, dcohen@rand.org

Background: Many studies of neighborhood effects on health have found clustering of a variety of health outcomes and mortality by place, even after controlling for individual level variables and socio-economic status. This talk will summarize four studies that quantify neighborhood exposure to deteriorated housing and find associations with gonorrhea and premature mortality. Methods: Secondary data analysis of mortality data, US census data, data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, STD surveillance data from New Orleans and Los Angeles, and data on damaged building and alcohol outlets from the 1992 Civil Unrest in Los Angeles. Three studies are cross sectional, and the latter one from Los Angeles is longitudinal. Results: All four studies in different locations across the country show strong relationships between deteriorated neighborhoods and negative health outcomes, even after controlling for race and socio-economic status. Conclusions: Neighborhood conditions appear to matter to one's health and may be an important cause of health disparities. Neighborhood improvements, rather than just improving health care services should be considered in addressing health disparities.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Built Environment Institute I: Improving Health by Fixing Our Everyday World - Built Environment Approaches to Preventing the Leading Causes of Death

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA