Study shows links between housing, health

Stock image.
Stock image.

AUSTRALIANS more likely to experience poor living conditions are at higher risk of housing-related health issues, a new study has found.

The report, released on Saturday by Torrens University, demonstrates that adequate and affordable housing is an important determinant of health.

Professor John Glover, director of the university’s Public Health Information Development Unit, said the findings aim to help communities, policy-makers and service planners.

“By looking at how housing outcomes and health correlates at a small area level, decision-makers are better equipped to tailor and direct services, programs and policy to those most at risk of adverse outcomes,” he said.

The report, which drew data from the 2016 census, broke down trends in each state.

It revealed there were strong associations between mortgage stress and risk factors, including obesity and smoking.

And in Perth, almost 550,000 residents were estimated to have respiratory system diseases, while more than 500,000 were thought to have musculoskeletal system diseases.

Household crowding had a strong link to low birth weight babies in WA, as well as to children assessed in their first year of school as developmentally vulnerable.