University of Oulu

Lankila, T., Puhakka, S., Kärmeniemi, M., Kangas, M., Rusanen, J., & Korpelainen, R. (2022). Residential history and changes in perceived health—The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study. Health & Place, 78, 102931.

Residential history and changes in perceived health : the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

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Author: Lankila, Tiina1,2; Puhakka, Soile1,2; Kärmeniemi, Mikko3;
Organizations: 1The Geography Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr., PO Box 365, 90100, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
4Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Arctic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-30


Neighbourhood socioeconomic status and physical access to amenities and greenness are factors that have been associated with mental, physical and perceived health. However, associations between long-time exposure to these circumstances and changes in perceived health in the middle-age population have remained a relatively underexamined area. This study aimed to examine the association between residential environmental history and changes in perceived health in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (N = 5973) population encompassing the two latest data collections at 31 and 46 years of age. Longitudinal time-varying geographical data on the residential environment’s economic dependency ratio, population density, distance to local services and presence of green areas were derived from various spatial registers and linked to cohort members’ exact residential history. According to a multivariable logistic regression analysis, having a residential history in municipalities with higher-than-average (poor) economic dependency ratios was associated with higher odds of poor perceived health changing to good. Among men, living farther than 2 km away from local services was associated with a higher risk of change from good perceived health to poor, and living farther than 300 m away from green areas was associated with a lower risk of change from good perceived health to poor. The residential environments’s urban/rural context may be one factor contributing to the findings. The results point to the importance of considering local residential area characteristics and residence duration in certain areas as potential determinants of health. Finally, having long-term residential history in areas with poor access to services and amenities has the potential to undermine health during one’s lifetime.

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Series: Health & place
ISSN: 1353-8292
ISSN-E: 1873-2054
ISSN-L: 1353-8292
Volume: 78
Article number: 102931
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102931
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu [grant No. 65354, 24000692]; Oulu University Hospital [grant No. 2/97, 8/97, 24301140]; Ministry of Health and Social Affairs [grant No. 23/251/97, 160/97, 190/97]; National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki [grant No. 54121]; Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland [grant No. 50621, 54231]; ERDF the European Regional Development Fund [grant No. 539/2010 A31592]. The study has been supported financially by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland [grant Nos. OKM/86/626/2014, OKM/43/626/2015, OKM/17/626/2016, OKM/54/626/2019]; the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District; Terttu Foundation and the Juho Vainio Foundation. The funding sources played no role in designing the study; collecting, analysing and interpreting the data; writing the manuscript; or deciding to submit the manuscript for publication.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license.