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WP 6 - Using EURO-URHIS indicators to monitor urban health

Work Package 6 involved using the EURO-URHIS indicators to monitor urban health, and it was led by the Municipal Health Service Utrecht.

Validation of the monitoring methodology was based on a series of scientific studies and by ‘doing it in practice’. Relevant aspects that were addressed included:

  1. sensitivity indicators: UA and group differences
  2. construct-validity: relationship health outcomes and its determinants, characteristics of UAs, and health policies
  3. meaningfulness level of analyses: suburbs versus (inner)cities, versus conurbations.

The studies will demonstrate the added value of a health monitoring system specifically in UAs. Do UAs and countries differ? Are there substantial between-UA differences in health and risk groups? Can between-UA differences simply be predicted by demographic composition?

The outputs can help in benchmarking, identifying best practice, sharing good practice and analysis of current models. All of these can help to influence and determine health policy by aiding policy makers at local, national and international level.

Different kinds of data sources will be used for analyses:

  • aggregate data on the UA-level based on the EURO-URHIS-45 list
  • data on health policies and main interventions
  • individual-level survey data on lifestyle and environment
  • UA-level contextual data
  • national data

Together this allows for a large variety of studies for different purposes:

1. Health and policy profiles

  • Health Profiles were created to describe the health situation (prevalence problems) and policies on different levels: UA, country, and EU. These can be downloaded from the "Health Profiles" section of the website.

2. Associations between health and UA characteristics: ecological analyses

  • This study provides insight into the construct validity of indicators and generates hypotheses on the relationships between characteristics of UAs and health outcomes.

3. Health in UAs compared to countries

  • The project has allowed us to study the hypothesis that health and its determinants are different in UAs compared to countries as a whole

4. Within-UA health differences

  • We used additional existing information on the characteristics of suburbs as explanatory factors, such as poverty, unemployment, age, etc to examine whether the size of within-UA differences is similar in UAs all over Europe.

5. Explaining between-UA lifestyle differences on the individual level and subjective physical environment

  • Survey data has been collected for 50 cities (and increasing), offering more possibilities for data analyses. Logistic regression has been used, in which both individual effects as ecological factors were modelled.
    • Can these differences be explained by differences in the socio-demographic characteristics of inhabitants of UAs?
    • Are risk groups similar in different UAs?

6. Between-UA policy differences

  • Policy differences may be explained by a number of factors. EURO-URHIS 2 has related local policy to the local health situation including information on health and social inequalities. The project also consulted (local) experts about a large variety of possible factors using semi-structured interviews.

Visit our interactive results website and download 26 city health profiles by clicking on the links to the left