Is urban regeneration associated with antidepressants or sedative medication users: a registry-based natural experiment

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BACKGROUND: Area deprivation is associated with adverse mental health outcomes. In Denmark, urban regeneration is being used to dissolve concentrated socio-economic area deprivation and ethnic segregation. However, evidence on how urban regeneration affects mental health of residents is ambiguous partly due to methodological challenges. This study investigates if urban regeneration affects users of antidepressant and sedative medication among residents in an exposed and control social housing area in Denmark.

METHODS: Using a longitudinal quasi-experimental design we measured users of antidepressant and sedative medication in one area undergoing urban regeneration compared with a control area. We measured prevalent and incident users from 2015 to 2020 among non-Western and Western women and men and used logistic regression to measure annual change in users over time. Analyses are adjusted for a covariate propensity score estimated using baseline socio-demographic characteristics and general practitioner contacts.

RESULTS: Urban regeneration did not affect the proportion of prevalent nor incident users of antidepressant and sedative medication. However, levels were high in both areas compared with the national average. Descriptive levels of prevalent and incident users were generally lower among residents in the exposed area compared with the control area for most years and stratified groups confirmed by the logistic regression analyses.

CONCLUSION: Urban regeneration was not associated with users of antidepressant or sedative medication. We found lower levels of antidepressant and sedative medication users in the exposed area compared with the control area. More studies are needed to investigate the underlying reasons for these findings, and whether they could be related to underuse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Issue number4
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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