Regional inequalities in premature mortality in Great Britain

Thomas Plümper*, Denise Laroze, Eric Neumayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Premature mortality exhibits strong spatial patterns in Great Britain. Local authorities that are located further North and West, that are more distant from its political centre London and that are more urban tend to have a higher premature mortality rate. Premature mortality also tends to cluster among geographically contiguous and proximate local authorities. We develop a novel analytical research design that relies on spatial pattern recognition to demonstrate that an empirical model that contains only socio-economic variables can eliminate these spatial patterns almost entirely. We demonstrate that socioeconomic factors across local authority districts explain 81 percent of variation in female and 86 percent of variation in male premature mortality in 2012–14. As our findings suggest, policy-makers cannot hope that health policies alone suffice to significantly reduce inequalities in health. Rather, it requires strong efforts to reduce the inequalities in socio-economic factors, or living conditions for short, in order to overcome the spatial disparities in health, of which premature mortality is a clear indication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0193488
Pages (from-to)347-359
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509
  • 506014 Comparative politics
  • 502027 Political economy

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