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Geography and health

We often look for the causes of illness in individual risk factors such as diet, smoking, alcohol and exercise. However, these factors alone cannot explain the causes of illness. The area you live in also impacts upon your health. Factors in the local area include pollution, drinking water quality, access to green areas, healthy food, access to healthcare and the social and economic resources of the area.

The geographical incidence and spread of health and morbidity in the population are analysed using national registers and databases. The analyses are based partly on the individual's residence, partly on aggregated data such as a municipality.

The research projects address social and geographical inequality in illness (including cardiovascular disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis) and the importance of drinking water quality for the health of the individual.

The areas of research include:

  • Mapping significant public health diseases, including cardiovascular disease
  • Monitoring the geographical spread of diseases
  • Identifying areas with a significantly high (or low) incidence of diseases
  • Analysing the significance of the local area for public health
  • Investigating whether the connection between risk factors and disease varies from a geographical perspective

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