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Understanding the links between relocating to different environments and health indicators such as body mass index in children.

A yellow background with a teddy bear wearing a face mask in the corner.
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

In this project, an international collaboration led by ISGlobal and IDIAP focusing on data from Catalonia, we used de-identified patient data from young people to describe the impact of changing environmental conditions on the determinants of health in children. We analysed the relocations of patients to areas of different socioeconomic deprivation levels or different air pollution levels.

The association between exposure to air pollution and health complications in children has been well-established. However, there is limited research exploring how sociodemographic and environmental characteristics may influence this association when young people relocate.

Graphical description of how patient data and environmental data was collected from the SIDIAP database and analysed

We connected Patient Data and Environmental data, and used this to describe baseline characteristics of groups who relocated to higher or lower levels of air pollution and socio-economic deprivation.

Results of the study shown, including how moving to an area of greater deprivation was associated with a higher prevelance of obesity, higher proportion of non-Spanish nationalities and lower exposure to green spaces, whereas moving to higher air pollution levels was linked with moving from urban areas, increased proportions of non-Spanish nationalities and greater social deprivation

In total, this study included the de-identified records of 237,216 children who moved to a different physical environment. These relocations were associated with changes in the prevalence of obesity, exposure to green spaces and differing proportions of non-Spanish nationalities.

Overall, Children exposed to environments with greater socioeconomic deprivation, greater urbanisation, higher levels of air pollution and more non-Spanish nationalities moved to areas of greater or similar deprivation and air pollution levels. Further research is necessary to understand underlying intersectionality and consequent health impacts for equitable health planning against degrading environmental conditions.

As this paper reaches publication, this permalink will include further details.