Coastal populations healthier than inland cousins

July 18th, 2012 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 18 (IANS) People living near the coast tend to have better health than those living inland, according to the findings of a new study.

Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, found that people were more likely to have good health the closer they live to the sea.

The analysis also showed that the link between living near the coast and good health was strongest in the most economically deprived communities, according to a European Centre statement.

Ben Wheeler, from European Centre, who led the study, said: “By analyzing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect.”

The study used data from the 2001 census for England, which brought together responses from over 48 million people. Researchers looked at the proportion of people who reported their health as being “Good” (rather than “Fairly Good or “Not Good”) and then compared this with how close those respondents lived to the coast.

The results show that on average, populations living by the sea report rates of good health more than similar populations living inland. The authors were keen to point out that although this effect is relatively small, when applied to the whole population the impacts on public health could be substantial.

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