Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biggest European health study identifies key priorities in 26 cities

17.09.2012
Researchers have announced the results of the largest ever health and lifestyle survey of cities and conurbations across Europe – including five British urban centres.

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:
Barbara Kerstiëns, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation
Megumi Kano, World Health Organisation, Kobe Centre, Japan
Amit Prasad, World Health Organisation, Kobe Centre, Japan
Waleska Teixeira Caiffa, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Mark McCarthy, University College London, UK
Richard Rothenberg, Georgia State University, United States
Carlos Castillo-Salgado, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
Don Brand, Winthrop University Hospital, New York, USA
Arpo Aromaa, Leader of ECHIM, Finland

Aeron Haworth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>