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Area and Health in Cities: A Review of the Literature

Kenneth Mullen (MRC Medical Sociology Unit, Glasgow)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 August 1990



In this paper I will analyse the nature of the relationship between area and health in cities. Although it has long been known that mortality and morbidity are unevenly distributed within urban environments (Stamp, 1964; Learmonth, 1988) it remains problematic as to how these differences should be explained. In the present paper I will present detailed information on the spatial distibution of mortality, morbidity, and health services in cities and consider the explanations which have been put forward to account for them. Research which has considered this topic covers various fields; medical geography, medical ecology, epidemiology, and sociology, and has utilised numerous methodological approaches, from straightforward mapping techniques to complex multi‐variate analysis. Research has also been carried out across the world. However, because differences in the political and social organisation of cities can have an effect on health, and these structural differences vary from country to country, I have restricted the current review to work carried out in the cities of the developed world as studies are more comparable.


Mullen, K. (1990), "Area and Health in Cities: A Review of the Literature", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 10 No. 8, pp. 1-24.




Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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