The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
AK conceived and designed the study. AC advised on statistical procedures and carried out the analysis. AK and AC contributed equally to the writing of the manuscript. AK is funded by the University of Glasgow. AC is funded by the GoWell partnership. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
There is a need for more evidence linking particular housing improvements to changes in specific health conditions. Research often looks at generic works over short periods.
We use a longitudinal sample (n = 1933) with a survey interval of 2–5 years. Multivariate logistic regression is used to calculate the odds ratios of developing or recovering from six health conditions according to receipt of four types of housing improvements.
Receipt of fabric works was associated with higher likelihood of recovery from mental health problems and circulatory conditions. Receipt of central heating was also associated with higher likelihood of recovery form circulatory conditions. No evidence was found for the preventative effects of housing improvements.
Health gain from housing improvements appears most likely when targeted at those in greatest health need. The health impacts of area-wide, non-targeted housing improvements are less clear in our study.