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Health impacts of environmental and socioeconomic factors on vulnerable groups in Mexico.

Lome Hurtado, Alejandro (2018) Health impacts of environmental and socioeconomic factors on vulnerable groups in Mexico. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Environmental hazards and adverse socioeconomic conditions have negative impacts on people’s health and are linked with both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Disproportionate exposure of vulnerable groups to environmental hazards can exacerbate environmental and health inequalities. Existing research has highlighted evidence of environmental and health inequalities, but gaps in understanding remain. This thesis addresses three areas of policy interest: the spatio-temporal dynamics of inequalities; the long-term impact of natural disasters on health inequalities; and the interaction between exposure to hazards and other determinants in affecting health outcomes. Using a multi-method, econometric approach that addresses spatial and temporal structure in the underlying datasets, I first analyses the distribution of air pollution in Mexico City. I show that the elderly and children, and neighborhoods with more deprived economic conditions, experience higher levels of air pollution compared with other age groups and neighborhoods. Second, I focus on how socioeconomic conditions affect health impacts in children, exploring the factors affecting the occurrence of low birth weight. My analysis shows hotspots of low birth weight across the greater Mexico City area and highlights lower education as a key risk factor. Finally, I examine health inequalities in vulnerable groups in relation to exposure to natural disasters such as floods and droughts across Mexico. My findings illustrate worsening morbidity and incapacity in children and the elderly following exposure to such events. This research has revealed new insights into the environmental and health inequalities experienced by vulnerable groups in relation to exposure to air pollution, natural disasters and adverse socioeconomic conditions. Policy action to reduce these inequalities requires the implementation of social programmes that focus on reinforcing community resilience after exposure to environmental hazards, regulating emissions of pollutants, monitoring adverse health outcomes, and extending public facilities and healthcare to the most vulnerable groups, especially children and the elderly.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Alejandro Lome Hurtado
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 09:37
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 09:37
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22607

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