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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


CARRERE, Juli et al. Energy poverty, its intensity and health in vulnerable populations in a Southern European city. Gac Sanit [online]. 2021, vol.35, n.5, pp.438-444.  Epub Jan 24, 2022. ISSN 0213-9111.


To describe and compare the health status between vulnerable population participating in a program to tackle energy poverty (Energía, la justa) and the non-energy poor Barcelona (Spain) population and to analyse among participants the effect of energy poverty intensity on health.


Cross-sectional study based on data from program participants obtained before the intervention. Participants (1799 women and 671 men) were compared to non-energy poor population of Barcelona (1393 women and 1215 men) sampled from the Barcelona Public Health Survey (2016). Standardized prevalence and prevalence ratios of self-perceived poor health, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and depression and/or anxiety were estimated, and among participants the association between health status and energy poverty intensity was estimated with multivariate models.


The probability of poor self-perceived physical and mental health ranged from 2.2 to 5.3 times greater in the program participants than non-energy poor Barcelona population. Among program participants, those most affected were found to be the most likely to report poor health outcomes, regardless of other sociodemographic factors.


The prevalence of poor physical and mental health was considerably higher among women and men participating in the programme compared to the non-energy poor population and was even worse among those who were more severely affected. Public policies that tackle energy poverty and its consequences are urgently needed in Spain.

Keywords : Energy poverty; Fuel poverty; Social determinants of health; Social health inequalities; Health Vulnerable populations.

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