“North and South health divide: Chilling study reveals premature death is 'postcode lottery',” the Daily Mirror reports. The news is based on a new interactive map showing the variation in premature death rates across England...
“North and South health divide: Chilling study reveals premature death is 'postcode lottery',” the Daily Mirror reports.
The news is based on a new interactive map showing the variation in premature death rates across England.
The Longer Lives map, created by the new organisation Public Health England, ranks 150 local authorities by their premature death rates (deaths occurring before age 75).
The interactive map also enables users to compare these areas by five common causes of premature (and potentially preventable) deaths:
Premature deaths and your local NHS
NHS Choices has a similar map of premature deaths broken down into local NHS areas.
These areas are those covered by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which organise most of the hospital and community NHS services locally.
The simple, colour-coded map enables users to see the variations between each local authority at a glance, including a measure of socioeconomic deprivation.
Much of the media coverage of the new map was dominated by the striking contrast between large parts of the north, coloured red (poor health), and the affluent south, mostly coloured green (good health). However, there are also pockets of poor health in some southern cities, boroughs of London, and in the Midlands.
What information is this map based on?
The information provided in Longer Lives is from the Public Health Outcomes Framework. This uses records of deaths from the Office of National Statistics.
The death rates are standardised to account for the fact that death rates are higher in older populations and adjusts for differences in the age make-up of different areas.
What factors could explain the variations?