The CRESH team have a new post available. We’re looking for a quantitative researcher to work with us, and our colleagues at OPENspace, on a project looking at the impact of woodland improvement on community health. You can read more about the project in our protocol paper.
The job will be based in Glasgow and has funding until the 31 March 2017. The closing date for applications is 27 March 2016.
This study was a collaboration between researchers at the University of York, the Bradford Institute for Health Research and CRESH. It compared neighbourhood IDACI scores, based upon social security benefit claims, to socio-economic data collected from families in the Born in Bradford (BiB) cohort study.
This study concludes that income deprivation measures based on means-tested benefits may underestimate deprivation in neighbourhoods with large minority ethnic populations due to the low take-up of benefits among poor families in some ethnic groups.
New research published this week in BMC Public Health by the CRESH team, and colleagues in Global Public Health, has found that Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods have the highest availability of both tobacco and alcohol outlets. The average density of tobacco outlets rises from 50 per 10,000 population in the least income deprived areas to 100 per 10,000 in the most deprived areas. For alcohol outlets licensed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises the figures were 25 per 10,000 in the least income deprived areas rising to 53 per 10,000 in the most income deprived areas.
Governments are increasingly recognising the wellbeing of their citizens as a policy priority. But in times of economic difficulty the welfare ‘safety net’ is often reduced, which may adversely affect the wellbeing of those most threatened by financial insecurities. Focusing on social inequalities in wellbeing across different countries – as we do in our latest paper – is therefore crucial.
Here, Jennifer Thomson, a PhD student with CRESH, describes her recent research into whether urban communities benefit from local woodland improvements, and places her important findings into policy context.
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill stage 3 will be debated today in the Scottish Parliament. Amendments to the bill include a clause, proposed by Dr Richard Simpson (MSP Labour, Mid-Scotland and Fife), to establish a National Register of Alcohol Premise Licenses and Personal Licences. CRESH support this amendment and called for such a register in evidence given by Niamh Shortt to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee.
Today we are launching an interactive webmap that allows users to map tobacco and alcohol outlet density, and related health outcomes, for neighbourhoods (‘datazones‘) across Scotland. The underlying data we have collected and assembled can also be freely downloaded for use. Our research from Scotland shows that outlet density matters for health:
areas with the highest alcohol outlet density have double the death rate of those with the lowest densities (see our blog post, report and infographic)
adolescents living in areas with the highest tobacco outlet density are almost 50% more likely to smoke than those with the lowest (see our blog post, paper and infographic).
ALCOHOL OUTLET DATA UPDATED 25 JUNE 2015: Previous to this date the alcohol outlet density data had used an alternate measure of density than outlets per km2, resulting in values that were typically 30-40% lower than the actual value. Whilst the figures have changed the general picture has not: an area of high density remains an area of high density. The rest of the data are unaffected.
As MSPs meet in the Scottish Parliament today to debate progress made against Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy, we’re launching a timely infographic to highlight the very real dangers of the oversupply of alcohol in our society, and the knock-on implications for health and inequality.
We’ve just published a journal article that assesses the links between difficult life events, residential moves and spatial inequalities in mental health in the UK.
We find that people that move following difficult life events, such as relationship breakdown and eviction, have poor mental health and distinctive patterns of mobility.
Difficult life events appear to both harm mental health and residential opportunities, increasing the likelihood that people with poor mental health will live in socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods. Moves related to difficult life events could reinforce socioeconomic inequalities in health between areas by concentrating people with poor health in disadvantaged areas.
Today we published a paper which builds on our ideas about equigenic environments – places that can reduce health inequalities – and continues the investigation of associations between nature and health. This new study builds on a paper CRESH’s Rich Mitchell published a long time ago (2008) with Dr Frank Popham, suggesting that populations which have more green space in their neighbourhood tend also to have a smaller health gap between richer and poorer residents. Other people have found something similar (see this for example, or this). The idea that ‘equigenic’ environments might be able to disrupt the usual conversion of inequalities in wealth to inequalities in health has gained attention, partly because it seems so difficult to do anything about the health gap that almost inevitably follows a wealth gap, and partly because politicians and society seem unwilling to tackle the wealth gap itself. Continue reading More reasons to think green space may be equigenic – a new study of 34 European nations→
We’re looking for a full-time Administrative Assistant to help us with our research work for 5.5 months. The postholder will assist in gathering, transcribing and inputting historic data from archives, as part of a project that is looking at how places influence our health across the course of our lives (part of the larger Mobility, Mood and Place project). More information here.
This year SMaSH is holding its annual event jointly with us at CRESH. This free event is on the 26 March 2015 at the CoSLA Conference Centre, Verity House, Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh. The programme is below for your information and if you would like to register to attend please follow the link below to the online registration page. Please disseminate the details to anyone you think may be interested. Continue reading Scottish (Managed) Sustainable Health Network (SMaSH) – Annual Event (2015)→
In our recently-published study into alcohol outlets and health in Scotland we found strong correlations between the two: neighbourhoods with higher availability of outlets had higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations. In fact, residents of neighbourhoods with the highest availability were more than twice as likely to die a drink-related death than those with the fewest outlets, all else* being equal (*deprivation and urban/rural status).
We know that factors throughout life influence our health and well-being in older age. Childhood poverty, early life education, difficult life events and many other factors have been shown to be strongly related to subsequent health outcomes. Yet almost all of this work has focused on our individual circumstances, and there have been few attempts to consider whether a wider set of factors – such as those at the community or neighbourhood level – affect our health over the life course. This is perhaps a surprise given the evidence that features of our local environment – such as air pollution, green space, and high numbers of retailers selling fast food, alcohol or cigarettes – are often associated with current health status. If these factors are causally related to health then there may be a number of policy opportunities (e.g. see our recent post on alcohol retail licensing). Continue reading Food environments around schools: what historical data might reveal about current obesity patterns→
How where we grow, live and age affects our health