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Impact of Coal Mining on Self-Rated Health among Appalachian Residents.

Abstract

To determine the impact of coal mining, measured as the number of coal mining-related facilities nearby one's residence or employment in an occupation directly related to coal mining, on self-rated health in Appalachia.

Unadjusted and adjusted ordinal logistic regression models calculated odds ratio estimates and associated 95% confidence intervals for the probability of having an excellent self-rated health response versus another response. Covariates considered in the analyses included number of coal mining-related facilities nearby one's residence and employment in an occupation directly related to coal mining, as well as potential confounders age, sex, BMI, smoking status, income, and education.

Self-rated health does not seem to be associated with residential proximity to coal mining facilities or employment in the coal industry. Future research should consider additional measures for the impact of coal mining.

The number of coal mining facilities near the respondent's residence was not a statistically significant predictor of self-rated health. Employment in a coal-related occupation was a statistically significant predictor of self-rated health univariably; however, after adjusting for potential confounders, it was no longer a significant predictor.

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