Online Environment and Health atlas for England and Wales

SAHSU have published an open-access online Environment and Health atlas for England and Wales (www.envhealthatlas.co.uk), which allows researchers, policy makers and members of the public to study the geographical pattern of 14 diseases and conditions such as lung cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, leukaemia and low birth weight. Alongside this, the atlas provides maps of geographical variations of selected environmental agents such as air pollution, sunshine and pesticides.  A companion print version, with more detailed interpretive text and statistics has been published by Oxford University Press

 

This is the first time in the UK that researchers have produced these maps at such high spatial resolution. By inputting a postcode to the online version of the atlas, users can zoom into a neighbourhood (around 6000 people) and toggle between the health and environment maps for that local area. Health maps provide an indication of the health risk for the area relative to the average for England and Wales but do not represent the risk for an individual living in that area. Simply comparing the health and environment maps will not enable people to conclude there is a causal link between a specific environmental agent and a health condition, but it can highlight areas for future research.

 

More details about the atlas can be found on http://www.envhealthatlas.co.uk/homepage/faq.html. Please also see the Guardian datablog http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/apr/25/environment-health-...and insight, the Medical Research Council blog http://www.insight.mrc.ac.uk/2014/04/28/five-interesting-things-from-the...