Perception of the Residential Living Environment: The Relationship between Objective and Subjective Indicators of the Residential Living Environment and Health

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Background: Multiple studies have found an association between ambient air quality, noise pollution, green spaces, and health. However, the underlying mechanisms remain partly unknown. We focused on subjective perception as a potential underlying factor. Methods: The linked dataset contained information on socio-demographic variables, objective measurements (air-, noise pollution and green spaces) & subjective perception of the residential living environment and a mortality follow-up from 1st October 2001 to 31st December 2016 for 464,611 respondents. We used Cox regression analysis to investigate the impact of subjective perception of the living environment, objective measurements of the living environment or a potential interaction between the two on all-cause mortality. Results: A negative subjective perception is for all three dimensions associated with a higher mortality hazard, even when controlling for several socio-demographic parameters. Higher concentrations of air pollutants, more noise pollution and a lower presence of green spaces are related to increased mortality. Statistical significance is lost for noise pollution after adding the socio-demographic control variables. When studying the interaction effect, the beneficial effect of a neutral subjective perception stands out. Subjectively satisfied individuals living in the worst objective conditions had the highest increase in mortality hazard. For noise pollution, our results don’t indicate an interaction effect. Conclusion: In this study, we confirmed the impact of air- and noise pollution and green spaces on all-cause mortality. Additionally, we showcased the impact of subjective perception both on itself and as an underlying factor in the relationship between objective residential environment and health.
Period1 Jul 2022
Event titleEuropean Population Conference
Event typeConference
LocationGroningen, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational