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Dr Amy Clair addresses London Assembly Health Committee with new evidence on impact of poor housing on children's health

Poverty crop

ISER Research Fellow Dr Amy Clair addressed the London Assembly Health Committee on the topic of Housing insecurity and the impact on children’s health on Thursday 10 October 2019.

The Health Committee discussed the impact of housing insecurity in London on the physical and mental health of children and their families.

The committee’s guests were:

  • Dr Amy Clair, Research Fellow, Essex University
  • Dr Stuart Lines, Director of Public Health, London Borough of Enfield
  • Paul Mishkin, Principal Environmental Health Officer, London Borough of Newham
  • Simone Vibert, Policy Analyst, Children’s Commissioner
  • Professor Paul Plant, Regional Director of Public Health, Public Health England

Dr Clair’s recent research with Dr Amanda Hughes, published in the British Medical Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health explored the association between housing and health using an objective indicator: C-reactive protein (CRP) level. CRP is a marker found in the blood that is associated with infection and stress, and at high levels with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

“We found that private renters have higher levels of CRP, indicating worse health, than owner occupiers. People who lived in detached houses had lower CRP compared to people living in other types of housing, such as flats or semi-detached homes. Surprisingly, we found that people paying high proportions of their income on housing costs had lower CRP levels, although only if they were renting. These findings have important implications for current housing debates, particularly in England.”

Read Dr Amy Clair’s blog about this research in The Conversation here.