Regional Inequalities in Premature Mortality in Great Britain
PLOS One, 13 (2), 2018
26 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 22, 2018
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.
Keywords: Regional Inequality, Spatial Pattern Recognition, Premature Mortality, Health Inequalities
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