Saturday 25 November 2017

How those living near coast feel they have the best health in country

Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown residents says they’re the healthiest in the country
Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown residents says they’re the healthiest in the country
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

People living in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown consider themselves to have the best health of anywhere in the country, but Longford town and county rank among the lowest.

Census 2016 also says that while 87pc of the population feel they have 'good' or 'very good' health, this has fallen slightly since 2011, down 1.3pc.

It also reveals a "significant difference" between the overall health of people living alone compared with those in family households. Some 39.5pc of people aged 50 or over in family households had good health compared with 27.2pc of those living alone.

The results clearly show the decline in general health with age, and also suggest that health is linked with affluence, with 96pc of professional workers enjoying good or very good health, compared with just over 83pc for unskilled workers.

It also reveals that almost nine out of 10 people (89.9pc) in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown indicated their health was very good or good, the highest rate in the country. At the other end of the scale, the lowest percentage was in Dublin City at 83pc, followed by Cork City and Longford.

In towns, people living in Longford (2.9pc) stated that their health was bad or very bad. The healthiest towns are Malahide in Co Dublin (92.5pc), followed by Carrigaline in Cork, Maynooth in Kildare, Greystones in Wicklow and Celbridge in Kildare. The CSO noted that generally good health is associated with youth, but Malahide is one of the State's oldest towns. It also noted that three of the top five towns were coastal.

Professor Ivan Perry, head of the School of Public Health at UCC, said that age, gender, economic status, educational attainment, diet and housing provision were determinants of good health.

"Our overall health and well-being is determined by factors outside the health sector. Provided the findings have been adjusted for age and gender, the findings are likely to be of some significance and may reflect differences in status and education, and in physical and social amenities," he said, adding that people in Longford could be older than average, which would make a "big difference".

"You need to see if there's a need for greater investment in schools, in investment for jobs. Often it's education and early years when you can make the most impact."

Irish Independent

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