housing and health with apologies to yogi
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Housing and Health (with apologies to Yogi) Common pathways link multiple hazards. It’s 90\% moisture, the other half is everything else. Housing is under-appreciated as a health determinant. Your house is really important – without it, where would you keep your TV?

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housing and health with apologies to yogi
Housing and Health(with apologies to Yogi)
  • Common pathways link multiple hazards.
    • It’s 90% moisture,
      • the other half is everything else.
  • Housing is under-appreciated as a health determinant.
    • Your house is really important –
      • without it, where would you keep your TV?
  • Conventional wisdom needs to be tested.
    • The world needs kooks –
      • otherwise, how would we know what’s normal?
social determinants of health
Social Determinants of Health

Socioeconomic Status

Social context

Environment

(incl. Housing)

Interventions

Healthcare

access

Behavior

Stress

Health Status

slide3
Housing and Health

Housing quality/design/type

Neighborhood Environment

Behavior

Structural

integrity

Contaminant sources

Dust traps/sources

Ventilation

Moisture

Interventions

Consumer products

Etc.

Etc.

allergens

pesticides

lead

Measures

Health

measurement needs
Measurement needs
  • Exposure-relevant measures
  • Personal exposure
  • Loading vs concentration vs air vs ?
  • When do we need to measure – costs/benefits of information content
  • Community-level exposures – impact on home contamination and individual exposure
what works
What Works
  • A small proportion of the things that seem to make sense have been proven to improve health.
  • Other things make sense from a housing point of view and may also improve health.
  • This gives us enough to make some program and policy changes.
  • However, much efficacy research as well as effectiveness/ evaluation studies are needed (see handouts for details)
research needs discussed
Research Needs Discussed
  • Causes of the secular and social gradients in asthma and primary prevention of asthma.
  • Impact of rehab/new house vs clean/repair; leverage non-research funding for the housing improvement.
  • Mold/ moisture – mechanisms of impact
  • Costs/ benefits.
  • Feasibility/ efficacy of multi-faceted interventions.
  • Mixed exposures (But how to study?)
research needs ii
Research needs - II
  • Effects of pre- vs postnatal exposure
  • ETS – development and behavior
  • Injuries at home common – how many are preventable through housing interventions/design (e.g. stairs) vs. consumer products?
  • Physical layout/aesthetics lighting, etc. and mental health/ cognitive development
research issues
Research Issues
  • Need for shift balance toward intervention studies
  • Controlled trials needed to support or ?refute? causation
  • But – when do we know enough to make controlled studies unethical?
  • Do no harm – consider other health domains/hazards: pesticides for cockroach, window replacement for lead
data surveillance needs
Data & Surveillance Needs
  • Routine use of existing data (e.g. NAMCS, NHANES)
  • Improvement of housing measures in existing health data systems
  • Improvement of health measures in existing housing data systems
  • Why – “what gets measured gets done”
implementation issues
Implementation Issues
  • Hierarchy of preferred interventions – passive/ environmental vs behavioral
  • “Wholesale,” primary prevention (e.g. banning products) simpler, more effective than cleaning up
  • Implementation R&D (e.g. lithium-powered smoke alarms, vouchers vs give-aways)
  • Need for life-course approach – critical times for intervention. This is crucial role for health agencies.
implementation ii
Implementation - II
  • Scaling-up interventions – what works when?
    • Regulation
    • Private sector (e.g. insurers)
    • Cross-training home visitors in existing programs (e.g. Head Start, Healthy Start, building inspectors)
    • Financial incentives
    • Appeal to builder/remodeler concerns
  • Incremental vs. radical change
  • Working across disciplines and organizations
a mature housing and health research community
A mature housing and health research community?
  • Standardized metrics
  • Well-established, routine surveillance data
  • Public awareness
  • Committed leadership
  • NIH and/or CDC - supported centers, RFAs?
  • A study section?
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