Housing and health: new evidence using biomarker data

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health


Amy Clair and Amanda Hughes

Publication date


Background: The link between housing and health is well established and long-standing, however much of the evidence relies on self-reported health measures. While these are useful, the availability of biomarker data allows us to add to this evidence using objective indicators of health.
Methods: In this paper, we use C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker associated with infection and stress, alongside information relating to housing details, demographic characteristics and health behaviours taken from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Hierarchical linear regression models estimate CRP for individual housing characteristics, and all available housing characteristics, controlling for confounders.
Results: Results indicate that housing tenure, type, cost burden and desire to stay in current home are associated with CRP. Private renters have significantly higher (worse) CRP than owners with a mortgage. In terms of housing type, respondents living in detached homes had lower CRP than those in semidetached or terraced houses, or those living in flats. Housing cost burden is associated with lower CRP, although further analysis indicates that this is the case only for low-income renters. Desire to stay in current home is significantly associated with higher CRP.
Conclusions: A number of housing characteristics were associated with CRP. These results further support an important role for housing in health.






Well Being, Health, Housing Market and Biology


Online Early; Open Access; © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.; This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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