Friday, 11 September 2009

Postcode mortality

It seems where you live determines the deprivation and mortality rates you experience. The pattern has persisted for the last 100 years. The link between poverty and mortality is as strong now as it was then despite a century of scientific, social and political improvement. This interesting research article in the BMJ by Ian Gregory, senior lecturer in digital humanities from Lancaster, is based on analysis of Census and other national statistics data.

Gregory I. Comparisons between geographies of mortality and deprivation from the 1900s and 2001: spatial analysis of census and mortality statistics. BMJ 2009;339:b3454

Is this surprising? It's not surprising that where you live determines the sort of life and opportunities you experience. What is surprising is that those same places have not changed greatly in their relative position of deprivation and mortality measures in the last 100 years. But then you'd have to look at a longer timescale to see changes in the fortune of particular localities. Postcodes remain a good predictor of deprivation and mortality.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dean
    It's quite interesting to see this sort of story wobbling up again in the media. Way back in the day I was funded by various public sector orgs in South Glamorgan (THAT far back in the day!) to do an analysis of various "council/census/health/whatever" data to create a "Health Profile" of the population of the old county. Surprise surprise, this was the key conclusion (plus some interesting linked stuff about self-reported limiting long-term illness). And here we are 17 years later concluding the same thing. I suppose it's just too complex for politicians to cope with, given the rather uncomfortable conclusions it would force them to reach (which would, I suspect, prove rather unpopular with the "key voter communities".

    Anyway, lovely to find your blog. Hope you're well and that life treats you as well as your hard work deserves.