MTR And Health-Related Quality Of Life

Health-Related Quality of Life among Central Appalachian Residents in Mountaintop Mining Counties

Keith J. Zullig and Michael Hendryx

American Journal of Public Health, 2011


Keyword:  MTR, Quality of life, Central Appalachia

Purpose: Most coal mining public health research has relied on county-level data, so this study investigates the relationship between individual level health-related quality of life and MTR.

Important Finding:  Residents in counties with MTR reported an average of 18 more unhealthy days (poor physical, mental, and activity limitation) per year as compared to other counties:      "...approximately 1,404 days, or almost four years, of an average American lifetime.”  

Significant Quote: “Residents of mountaintop mining counties reported significantly more days of poor physical, mental, and activity limitation and poorer self-rated health compared with the other county groupings.”

Results:  This study is important in that it made one of the first direct links between individual health and MTR mining in particular.  The authors find “unique contributions” from MTR mining activity to negative health ratings among residents in MTR counties as compared to residents in other county groupings.  The authors state that these results contribute to the evidence base in support of the EPA's April 2010 decision to make new MTR permits more difficult to obtain.


Zullig, KJ and M. Hendryx. "Health-Related Quality of Life Among Central Appalachian Residents in Mountaintop Mining Counties". American Journal of Public Health. 101, 5 (2011): 848-53.