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Indoor heating, house conditions, and health
  1. I Gemmell
  1. MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G11 8RZ, UK
  1. Dr Gemmell (i.gemmell{at}

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Many studies have shown a relation between damp housing and health,1-3 however, there has been relatively little research concerned with the effect of cold homes on health. Recent evidence has suggested that inability to keep a house warm is more strongly associated with health outcomes than is damp housing.4 This paper aims to assess the relation between housing characteristics and ill health focusing in particular on adequacy of indoor heating.


The subjects in this analysis were 858 respondents in the oldest cohort of the second sweep of the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study,5 surveyed in 1991. The response rate for this wave was 82% and the average age of respondents was 59.

The survey recorded 13 variables concerning housing conditions. Some of these were from respondents' answers to questions such as how warm they felt in winter, others were objective opinions by …

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  • Funding: this research was supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.