According to a UK study, improving buildings to enhance "thermal comfort" - with central heating or insulation, for instance - pays off in both physical and mental well being.
"I think the main message is that housing improvement can improve health, especially if it's warmth and energy improvement targeting people with respiratory illnesses," said Hilary Thomson, the study's lead author from the Medical Research Council in Glasgow, UK.
Several studies have tied poor housing conditions to poor health, but there are some questions about the quality of evidence for that link, according to Thomson and her colleagues.
Researchers have trouble teasing apart the effects of poor housing and other factors that may play a role, such as age and poverty, Thomson and her team write in The Cochrane Library.
The most common housing conditions tied to poor health are air quality, heat and humi…