UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Impact of Housing and Community Conditions on Multidimensional Health among Middle- and Low-Income Groups in Hong Kong Wang, Jionghua; Huang, Bo; Zhang, Ting; Wong, Hung; Huang, Yifan


With decades of urbanization, housing and community problems (e.g., poor ventilation and lack of open public spaces) have become important social determinants of health that require increasing attention worldwide. Knowledge regarding the link between health and these problems can provide crucial evidence for building healthy communities. However, this link has heretofore not been identified in Hong Kong, and few studies have compared the health impact of housing and community conditions across different income groups. To overcome this gap, we hypothesize that the health impact of housing and community problems may vary across income groups and across health dimensions. We tested these hypotheses using cross-sectional survey data from Hong Kong. Several health outcomes, e.g., chronic diseases and the SF-12 v. 2 mental component summary scores, were correlated with a few types of housing and community problems, while other outcomes, such as the DASS-21–Stress scores, were sensitive to a broader range of problems. The middle- and low-income group was more severely affected by poor built environments. These results can be used to identify significant problems in the local built environment, especially amongst the middle- and low-income group.

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