The research examined and compared the health, life expectancy and lifestyles of the populations of 26 European cities (the Euro-26) and found major differences, not only between cities, but within individual urban areas too.
The pan-European study, led in the UK by the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool, identified key priority areas for each city studied that the researchers hope policymakers will address.
In England's Greater Manchester and Merseyside, for example, depression and anxiety were identified as problem areas, along with cancer and respiratory disease – both of which were higher in these conurbations than the Euro-26 average. Obesity among Manchester and Liverpool's populations was also higher than the average of those cities studied, as was heavy drinking among the population's youth and binge drinking among adults.
It wasn't all bad news for Manchester though: Mancunians ate considerably more fruit and vegetables than the average Euro-26 city; they had more green spaces to enjoy, and ate breakfast more frequently than their European counterparts. Liverpudlians smoked less than the European average but had a lower-than-average perception of their own wellbeing.
Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow were the other British cities analysed. Death from respiratory disease in Birmingham was substantially higher than the Euro-26 average, although the incidence of male cancers was significantly lower. Heavy drinking and smoking among young Brummies was also well below the Euro-26 average.
In Cardiff, male cancers and deaths among women from circulatory diseases were much lower than in the other European cities studied, but depression and anxiety among adults in the Welsh capital, as well as binge drinking, were higher than the Euro-26 average. Mortality from cancers and respiratory diseases were seen as key concerns in Scotland's largest conurbation, but drinking and smoking among young Glaswegians was on par with the Euro-26 average.
The study, known as the European Urban Health Indicator System (EURO-URHIS 2) project and co-funded through the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, provides an in-depth health and lifestyle analysis, as well as key policy recommendations, for each of the 26 European cities and beyond.
The 26 cities and conurbations are: Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bistrita, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Cardiff, Craiova, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Iasi, Kaunas, Koln, Kosice, Liepaja, Ljubljana, Maribor, Merseyside, Montpellier, Oberhausen, Oslo, Riga, Siauliai, Skopje, Tetova, Tromso and Utrecht. (A link to the findings for all cities is provided in the notes below.)
Project coordinator Dr Arpana Verma, from The University of Manchester, said: "The gap between the rich and poor living in urban areas across the world is widening. The urban poor are now worse off than the rural poor. Health inequalities are a greater issue than ever before and it's becoming increasingly important for policymakers to take the valuable information that we have to offer and translate into policies that can help improve our health.
"The European Urban Health Conference highlights these disparities and demonstrated effective tools that policymakers can use to improve health for all. Comparison within cities and between cities is becoming an area of interest to researchers, policymakers and the populations they serve. We will shortly launch our website with our preliminary results, including the differences we have seen. By highlighting these differences, we can learn from each other to make our cities healthier, and empower the citizens of Europe."
Dr Erik van Ameijden, from Utrecht Municipal Health Service, Netherlands, said: "The monitoring of health information is vital to bring about evidence-based health gain in urban populations. With the help of our partners, my team in Utrecht has been able to analyse and present data in easy-to-use profiles, as well as demonstrate the key differences seen between cities and countries.
"We are proud to launch our health profiles for 26 cities across Europe where we describe differences in the health status of our urban citizens. These differences may be explained by the variation in social, demographic and economic conditions both within and between cities. We are concerned that the European north/south divide in health outcomes previously reported at national and regional level is happening in our cities."
Dr Christopher Birt, from the University of Liverpool, said: "Networks and public health advocacy is vital if we are to make our urban areas work for our populations in the future. Policy makers and researchers need to work together, with the best evidence, to reduce inequalities and improve health."
Dr Daniel Pope, also from the University of Liverpool, said "The results of our research show that policy makers are keen to use and learn about the tools we have created such as the profiles, healthy life expectancy and future trends, tools to help prioritise policies, urban health impact assessment and screening tools."
Professor Arnoud Verhoeff, from the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service, Netherlands, and chair of the local organising committee, added: "We enjoyed welcoming our esteemed speakers, guests and delegates to what proved to be the most popular venue for urban health researchers, policy makers and lay people to mix and share ideas. The main outputs of the conference will be the launch of the results of EURO-URHIS 2 and a new website which will offer a resource for all people interested in urban health."
Notes for editors:
The key findings for each individual city involved in the research can be accessed here: http://www.urhis.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125&Itemid=73
The findings of the research were presented at the European Urban Health Conference, which took place at the Felix Meritis on the Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, between September 12 and 14. The results will shortly be published on the URHIS website.
The conference attracted more than 200 registered researchers, policy makers and other professionals from across Europe and beyond. Visit www.urhis.eu for more details.
Key organisations that took part in the conference included the European Commission, the World Health Organisation (WHO), European Public Health Association (EUPHA), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), International Society of Urban Health (ISUH), USAID, health services, individuals and universities with a special interest in urban health.Keynote speakers at the conference included:
Aeron Haworth | EurekAlert!
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Age research: A low level of the stress hormone cortisol contributes to the ageing process
01.07.2020 | Universität des Saarlandes
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences
10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences