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Studying the environment and cardiovascular health in cities: The Heart Healthy Hoods Project
The Social and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Group of the University of Alcala in Spain, with its HeartHealthyHoods Project lead by Dr. Manuel Franco, has published a manuscript on the features of a neighborhood in Madrid (Spain) that affect the cardiovascular health of its residents. This manuscript has been published in the journal BMC Medical Research and Methodology. The European Research Council through an ERC-Starting Grant funds this research.
In this study the authors used the “mixed methods” approach that combines quantitative city and health data, obtained through on-field assessments and from the regional Primary Care Health Service, with qualitative data, obtained through interviews with neighbors in the area. The authors explore all features of the Las Ventas neighborhood that may affect the residents’ cardiovascular health.
Places to buy alcohol, food, and bars and restaurants in the study area.
Among the most important findings of this study is the importance of using data from Electronic Health Records and Primary Care Services to understand population health. Authors also highlight the importance that residents give to local food stores, whose owners and workers they know. The density of bars and restaurants was also noted by the authors through the use of quantitative data, and was corroborated by the neighbors’ emphasis on social relations happening in these places.
Article Reference: Bilal U, Diez J, Alfayate S, Gullón P, del Cura I, Escobar F, Sandín M, Franco M, and the HHH Research Group. Population cardiovascular health and urban environments: the Heart Healthy Hoods exploratory study in Madrid, Spain. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016; 16:104. Article URL (open Access): http://bmcmedresmethodol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12874-016-0213-4
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