Objective: To examine the effect of improving the thermal quality of housing on blood pressure (BP) and general health.
Design: A before and after study comparing the changes of the intervention with controls.
Setting: Four blocks of flats in the Easthall area of Easterhouse in Glasgow.
Participants: Residents of the four blocks who agreed to participate.
Intervention: Two blocks of flats were upgraded from being cold, damp and mouldy to being comfortably warm, dry and mould free throughout.
Main outcome measures: Changes in BP, general health and financial status.
Results: In the intervention subjects, systolic and diastolic blood pressures fell very significantly (p<0.000). There was also an improvement in general health as reported subjectively, and as indicated by a reduction in the use of medication and in hospital admissions. In addition, there was a markedly reduced expenditure on heating costs and other previous expenses. There were no changes in the control subjects in any of these measures.
Conclusion: Improving the thermal quality of housing to eliminate damp and mould and produce a comfortable temperature throughout the house has a major impact on the health of the residents. There are also financial benefits for the residents, and indirectly for the NHS.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Funding:Nuffield Foundation grant SOC/181(2144).
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was given by the Ethics Committee of the Department of Anaesthetics of Edinburgh University at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.