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There is increasing interest in academic and policy circles in the role that social cohesion (often assessed by participation in local groups and associations) may play in determining health. In our study of two socially contrasting localities in Glasgow, we have found that only 13% of respondents in the poorer locality participated in local community groups and associations compared with 25% of residents in the more affluent locality. Might the differing appearance of local community centres have something to do with this?