Health Problems Can Be as Unique as the City

A first-of-its-kind study measures the unique health problems of individual cities in the European Union, revealing interesting, and sometimes mysterious, results.
September 22, 2012, 5am PDT | Andrew Gorden
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Unlike most epidemiological studies, which are focused at the state or national level, a new study conducted in the European Union focuses instead on health at the city level. "When it comes to meaningful variation in the spread of specific illnesses, though, turns out cities, not countries, are where it's at," notes Emily Badger.

"The project has published online health profiles of 26 cities, containing some particularly mysterious variations." For example, "[t]he mortality rate among women in Amsterdam from diseases of the respiratory system is substantially higher than the average in the 25 other cities. Cardiff, in the United Kingdom, has a relatively high proportion of overweight adults; people in Manchester suffer at a higher rate from depression and anxiety; while Maribor, Solvenia, contends with heavy episodic drinking among its young people," reports Badger.

"The results suggest that cities have a kind of unique health fingerprint in much the same way countries – or even individuals – do."

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Published on Thursday, September 20, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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