Housing as a Social Determinant of Health: A Q&A with Epidemiologist Earle Chambers

by Lisette Vegas and Maya Brennan: For More Info, Go Here…

Housing—as a physical structure, a source of stability or stress, and a part of a neighborhood and community—affects residents’ health. Health and housing partnerships are rooted in evidence that improvements in housing can support physical, mental, and behavioral health. By studying health patterns and determinants at the community or population group level, epidemiologists can help expand results from health and housing partnerships to serve entire areas or groups with disparate health outcomes.

To understand more about housing from an epidemiologist’s perspective, we spoke with Earle Chambers, an associate professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Chambers has documented the connections between housing and neighborhood conditions and health disparities among low-income Latinos in the Bronx.

1. Your research has connected housing with cardiovascular health, depression, sleep disorders, asthma, and obesity. How did you come to view housing as such an important social determinant of health?

I view housing as a linchpin social determinant of health that influences many others. If you intervene on housing, you have the chance of affecting other social determinants of health.

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