Riva, Mylene, Pierrich Plusquellec, Robert-Paul Juster, Elhadji A. Laouan-Sidi, Belkacem Abdous, Michel Lucas, Serge Dery, and Eric Dewailly (2014) Household crowding is associated with higher allostatic load among the Inuit, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 68: 363–369.

Keywords: crowdinghealthmental healthNunaviksocial housing

This research looked at whether household crowding is associated with an elevated risk of allostatic load (AL) or chronic stress amongst Inuit adults in Nunavik. This is the first research to measure AL in a representative sample of Inuit. The data was taken from a cross-sectional survey from 2004 ‘Qanuippitaa? How are we?’ Nunavik Inuit Health Survey. Approximately 90% of the Inuit in Nunavik live in social housing, where rent is adjusted to household income.

The definition of household crowding used for this research comes from Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp (CMHC): household size defined as the number of adults and the number of children (aged less than 18 years) in the house compared to the number of rooms, with overcrowding defined as more than one person per room (PPR). 40% of Nunavik Inuit lived in overcrowded households as defined by more than one PPR

In the sample, covariate analysis showed positive associations between household size and overcrowding and AL in Inuit adults. Different housing conditions were also associated with health inequalities. Fifty percent of the households had a median of five people (adults and children) per dwelling with at least three children.