Health Hazards and Socio-Economic Status: A Neighbourhood Cohort Approach, Vancouver, 1976–2001
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This paper lays the foundation for a research program concerned with the geographical patterning of environmental and population health at the urban neighbourhood scale. Based on the Vancouver metropolitan region, the aim is to better understand the role of neighbourhoods as epidemiological spaces where environmental and social characteristics combine as health processes and outcomes at the community and individual levels. With respect to procedure, this paper builds a cohort of commensurate neighbourhoods across all six census periods from 1976 to 2001, assembles neighbourhood air pollution (total particles) data, and provides an initial analysis to demonstrate how air pollution systematically and consistently maps onto neighbourhood socio-economic markers, specifically education and family status. We conclude with a discussion of how the neighbourhood cohort can be further developed to address emergent priorities in the population and environmental health literatures, namely the need for temporally matched data, a life-course approach and analyses that control for spatial scale effects.