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Happy with where you live? You’ll live longer, says study

People who are unhappy with where they live are more likely to be in poor health when they are older, a study has suggested.

Researchers from University College London (UCL), the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sussex found that having no sense of belonging in your community could be as bad for your health as living in a deprived neighbourhood.

The findings, published in the Health and Place journal on Thursday, used data from over 11,000 adults aged 50 and above from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

Dr Stephen Jivraj, from UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, said: ‘While we know that older adults who reside in more objectively deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to have worse health, the findings show that how they perceive the area they live in has a strong association, independent of neighbourhood deprivation and individual circumstances.

People who are unhappy with where they live are more likely to be in poor health when they are older, a study has suggested

‘We looked at the objective and subjective neighbourhood characteristics on health and found that they are both evenly associated with older adults’ health, so thinking your neighbourhood to be poorer quality could be equally as bad as it being poor quality.’

Participants answered questions about their health and how dissatisfied they were with their neighbourhood biannually between 2002/3 and 2012/13.

Dissatisfaction was measured on sense of belonging to an area, perception of vandalism, safety, loneliness, trustworthiness, friendliness, cleanliness, unkindness and how helpful people were.

The responses were measured against the 2004 Index of Multiple Deprivation created by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Dissatisfaction was measured on sense of belonging to an area, perception of vandalism, safety, loneliness, trustworthiness, friendliness, cleanliness, unkindness and how helpful people were

Dissatisfaction was measured on sense of belonging to an area, perception of vandalism, safety, loneliness, trustworthiness, friendliness, cleanliness, unkindness and how helpful people were

Researchers from University College London (UCL), the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sussex found that having no sense of belonging in your community could be as bad for your health as living in a deprived neighbourhood

This includes information on income, employment, health and disability, education, skills and training deprivation, barriers to housing and services, living environment deprivation and crime.

Simran Godhwani, from UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, said: ‘Two-fifths of older adults living in the most deprived neighbourhoods were expected to have poor health compared with less than a fifth in the least deprived neighbourhoods.

‘More than a third of older adults who are most dissatisfied with their neighbourhood were estimated to have poor health compared with less than quarter who were happy with their area of residence.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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