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Os Lugares e a Saúde (“Places and Health”)


Author: Helena Nogueira 
Language: Portuguese
ISBN: 978-989-8074-33-1
Digital ISBN: 978-989-26-0454-1
Publisher: Coimbra University Press
Date: May 2008
Price: 15,75 €
Size: 240 mm x 170 mm
N.º Pages: 240


This study looks at the different factors (environmental, physical and social) influencing the health of the population resident in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA). It theorizes the multiple dimensions of the local sociomaterial context, focusing above all on aspects that differentiate between places, and seeks to model and explain their influence on individual health by means of multivariate statistical analysis. The results obtained prove the hypothesis that in the LMA, there is a strong relationship between health and the spaces, or places, of daily life. That relationship, which is found for different contextual characteristics, remains true when individual characteristics, considered to be major health determinants, are controlled. Good access to public transport, the availability of preventive health services, high levels of social capital and low levels of material deprivation contribute significantly to a better self-assessed health status. However, the relationship is not linear; the effect of place on health is not universal but specific, clearly affecting different population groups. This work, which reveals a topography of risk and protection in the LMA, recognises the capacity of place to manage/generate health and disease, thereby constituting a new approach to an old problem of public health. With its suggestion that By suggesting that it might be possible to break the chain of risk factors that leads to health impoverishment, acting upon places becomes a way of acting socially upon individuals, integrated into their communities.