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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2018

Public rental housing and its association with mortality – a retrospective, cohort study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jun Jie Benjamin Seng, Yu Heng Kwan, Hendra Goh, Julian Thumboo, Lian Leng Low
Wichtige Hinweise
Jun Jie Benjamin Seng and Yu Heng Kwan contributed equally to this work.



Socioeconomic status (SES) is a well-established determinant of health status and home ownership is a commonly used composite indicator of SES. Patients in low-income households often stay in public rental housing. The association between public rental housing and mortality has not been examined in Singapore.


A retrospective, cohort study was conducted involving all patients who utilized the healthcare facilities under SingHealth Regional Health (SHRS) Services in Year 2012. Each patient was followed up for 5 years. Patients who were non-citizens or residing in a non-SHRS area were excluded from the study.


A total of 147,004 patients were included in the study, of which 7252 (4.9%) patients died during the study period. The mean age of patients was 50.2 ± 17.2 years old and 7.1% (n = 10,400) of patients stayed in public rental housing. Patients who passed away had higher utilization of healthcare resources in the past 1 year and a higher proportion stayed in public rental housing (p < 0.001). They also had higher rates of co-morbidities such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and diabetes. (p < 0.001) After adjustment for demographic and clinical covariates, residence in public rental housing was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (Adjusted hazard ratio: 1.568, 95% CI: 1.469–1.673).


Public rental housing was an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality. More studies should be conducted to understand health-seeking behavior and needs of public rental housing patients, to aid policymakers in formulating better plans for improving their health outcomes.
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