Health News – Researchers have examined the link between rising fuel prices and people’s poor mental and physical health. They are enthusiastic that the findings can be used in reducing fuel poverty and formulating greener energy policies.
A new study reveals that fuel poverty negatively impacts health and life satisfaction. The study was conducted at the University of East Anglia.
“Fuel poverty” is a type of income poverty, in which a household is unable to afford enough energy services in the home.
The researchers studied 6,854 participants involved in Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. They explored the link between fuel poverty and a set of wellbeing outcomes—including life-satisfaction, self-reported health measures, and bloodstream biomarkers. Other factors were also considered, such as the participants’ lifestyles, eating habits, and exercising habits.
The findings, published in Energy Economics, show that fuel poverty leads to poor wellbeing and reduced life satisfaction. Rocketing fuel prices also cause inflammation of a biomarker called fibrinogen. In normal levels, fibrinogen helps in blood-clotting. But, elevated fibrinogen levels are associated with heart attacks, stroke, coronary heart disease, and increased risk of death.
Energy poverty also leaves people exposed to cold temperatures. This causes inflammation, increased blood pressure, and cardiovascular risk mortality, irrespective of age or gender.
This research is important in better understanding the far-reaching effects of energy poverty. With fuel bills expecting inflation, even to the extent of becoming unaffordable in the future, such studies can help governments formulate successful energy strategies. These policies can help curb energy poverty and its health impacts, reduce carbon emissions, as well as fight climate change.
One of the lead authors, Dr Andrew Burlinson, said, “Low-income households suffering fuel poverty will need policies that better support them so that they are not left behind by the transition to greener living.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Apostolos Davillas, Andrew Burlinson, Hui-Hsuan Liu,Getting warmer: Fuel poverty, objective and subjective health and well-being,Energy Economics,Volume 106,2022,105794,ISSN 0140-9883,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105794.