As the prevalence of overweight and obesity has been increasing in South Korea, it is critical to better understand possible associations between environmental surroundings and general health status. We characterize key health test readings and basic demographic information from 10,816 South Koreans, obtained from two Ubiquitous Healthcare (U-Healthcare) centers that have distinct surrounding neighborhood characteristics. One is located in a rural area in Busan, the other is located in an urban area in Daegu surrounded by a highly crowded residential and commercial business area. We analyze comprehensive health data sets, including blood pressure, body mass index, pulse rate, and body fat percentage from December 2013 to December 2014 to study differences in overall health test measurements between users of rural and urban U-Healthcare centers. We conduct multiple regression analyses to evaluate differences in general health status between the two centers, adjusting for confounding factors. We report statistical evidence of differences in blood pressure at the two locations. As local residents are major users, the result indicates that the environmental surroundings of the centers can influence the demographics of the users, the type of health tests in demand, and the users’ health status. We further envision that U-Healthcare centers will provide public users with an opportunity for enhancing their current health, which could potentially be used to prevent them from developing chronic diseases, while providing surveillance healthcare data.
self-healthcare; physical activity; U-Healthcare; neighborhood and health; environment; health promotion
Date of this Version
Bravo Santisteban, R.D.; Kim, Y.L.; Farooq, U.; Kim, T.-S.; Youm, S.; Park, S.-H. Environment and Its Influence on Health and Demographics in South Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 183.