Built environment and health review, October 2019

Beginning this month, I’ll be sharing a short list what’s happening in research related to the built environment and health. Enjoy!

  • Researchers find that most of 29 road safety measures are estimated to be good investments based on a review of European studies, although “two measures (automatic barriers installation and area wide traffic calming) even in the best case do not become cost-effective.”
  • A study from England has found that houses retrofitted to be more energy efficient are found to have inhabitants with slightly higher rates of cardiovascular health conditions such as asthma and COPD, possibly related to decreased air circulation.
  • A cook stove intervention in Ghana is associated with lowered bacterial, though not viral, diversity in children’s upper air passages.
  • Evidence is building that ambient noise, like air pollution, may hasten cognitive decline in the elderly and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • Digitally assessing built environment features related to health and safety are found to be nearly as reliable as on-the-ground assessment while taking a similar amount of time and eliminating travel costs.
  • Adjusting for other factors, being born into a lower-class neighborhood is associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure and obesity when people are in the 40’s.
  • Tree density in Tampa is found to be associated with lower rates of cardiovascular and respiratory health conditions.