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Coastal location linked to poorer health

Feb. 11, 2011 at 6:17 PM

TORONTO, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Poor health is twice as likely in residents of high-risk neighborhoods living on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts in Canada, researchers say.

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto find those living in a poorer -- low income, poor housing, low education and high unemployment -- neighborhood are 10 percent more likely to report poor health versus those in more affluent neighborhoods.

However, the study, published in Health & Place, indicates those living in poorer neighborhoods on the Atlantic Coast are 20 percent more likely to report poor health. On the Pacific coast the figure is 30 percent -- more than twice that of those who live in poor neighborhoods located in prairie or central urban areas.

"This research shows where people live in Canada plays a big role in how strongly they are affected," Heather White says in a statement. "These findings highlight that a one-shot national solution for reducing poverty and inequality may not work. Instead, health policies should target specific regions and neighborhoods at greatest risk."

White and colleagues based the study on data from 120,290 Canadians living in 3,668 urban neighborhoods where residents self-reported health.

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