Influence of distances between places of residence and wind farms on the quality of life in nearby areas
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Public Health Department, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Family Medicine Department, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland; Public Higher Medical Professional School in Opole, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(4):692–696
Background: The quality of life has three main characteristics: it always refers to the living conditions of an individual; it is measured both with subjective and objective indicators; and it is a multidimensional concept. Aim of the study: To assess how the quality of life is affected by the close proximity of wind farms. Material and methods. The study group consisted of 1,277 Polish adults (703 women and 574 men), living in places located near wind farms. The mean age was 45.5 ± 16.10. Some 33.2% of participants lived more than 1,500 m from wind farms; 17% – below 700 m. The research tool consisted of the Norwegian version of the SF-36 General Health Questionnaire, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for health assessment, and original questions. Results: Regardless of the distance between a place of residence and a wind farm, the highest quality of life was noted within the physical functioning subscale (mean 76±27.97), and the lowest within the general health (mean 55.3±24.06). Within all scales, the quality of life was assessed highest by residents of areas located closest to wind farms, and the lowest by those living more than 1,500 m from wind farms. Conclusions: Close proximity of wind farms does not result in the worsening of the quality of life. Similar research should be conducted before any intended investment, and at least 6 months after construction of a wind farm.