Newsletter №4 - May 2015 Sophie
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Dear reader,

During these months we have continued to share our results through publications and presentations.

In March, we also launched a new video on Gender equity and health.

As we approach the end of the project, we have started to prepare the project conclusions and to organise the final conference, to be held in Brussels the 29th of September, and two final events in Barcelona in July and October.

Save the dates and we hope to see you there!


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The method Results
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Veronica Toffolutti

Veronica Toffolutti, Norwich

"While recession can affect health, what matters is the policy response"

Carles Muntaner

Carles Muntaner, Toronto

"Most studies just report associations without caring about how things work"

Veronica Toffolutti, research associate at the University of East Anglia, is involved in SOPHIE to study the health effects of macro-economic factors and policies.

You have been studying the impacts of the Great Recession in Europe on population health. Which health indicators have been more affected by the economic crises?
Looking at the short-term association between unemployment rate and mortality, we found that mortality attributable to accidents is, by far, the indicator most affected, but in a positive way! On the other side, it is worth mentioning the harmful effect of the recession on mortality due to suicides. We found that these results are more marked with low levels of social protection.

Read the full interview here

Carles Muntaner is Professor of Nursing, Public Health and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Canada. In SOPHIE, he co-leads research on welfare state.

Could you highlight some of your findings in SOPHIE on how social protection policies impact poverty and health?
We found that in the EU, poverty and poor mental health, among the unemployed and even the employed, are positively impacted by the generosity of Unemployment Insurance (UI) in terms of its criteria for eligibility, duration and wage replacement levels in the EU. Though UI is not intended to compensate fully for a loss of earnings, generous UI programs can moderate harmful social and mental health consequences of unemployment.

Read the full interview here

The picture The number
The picture

Trussell Trust food banks in local authorities in England, Scotland, and Wales in 2009 and 2013. Source: Austerity, sanctions, and the rise of food banks in the UK. Published at BMJ 2015;350:h1775.



In poorly insulated social housing blocks in Barcelona, women had a 2.4 times higher risk of death during the coldest winter days. Retrofitting with facade insulation eliminated this risk. This SOPHIE study (ppt available here) has shown how structural reforms of buildings can moderate the impact of cold housing and fuel poverty on health and mortality.

News Readings
We are organising two important events that will take place very soon. From 1 to 3 of July, in Barcelona, we will present some of the SOPHIE research results in a public event. Find more information here.

The second important date not to miss is our final conference in Brussels, the 29th of September. Find more information and register here, places are limited!


The other projects funded under our same call on health inequalities research in FP7 ended on December 2014. Follow the links to find out more about the conclusions of Demetriq , Drivers and Silne.

Through our Twitter account @sophieproject we recommend each week an article on the topics of the project. Find them out here!

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