It has been known for some time that persons living in neighbourhood areas with higher levels of income deprivation have statistically lower life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy. This relationship has become known as the “Marmot curve”.
This report examines the impact of government policy on health inequalities over the period between 1999–2003 to 2006–10 on this “curve”. It incorporates local area level data on a wide range of variables in 6,700 areas of England. Life expectancy apparently improved across England during this period and the gap in life expectancy between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% narrowed. However:
“ …there was an increase in inequalities in the clustering of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours in England in the 2000s, even as the Marmot curve was getting shallower, generating inequalities in health in the future… The persistence of low life expectancy in some areas means that the state, centrally and locally, has not tackled inequalities in health adequately”. (p.45).
Buck, D. [and] Maguire, D. (2015). Inequalities in life expectancy: changes over time and implications for policy. London: King’s Fund, August 11th 2015.
January 2017 Update: on Health Inequalities in Childhood
The State of Child Health 2017 report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health looks into the causes of persistent health inequalities:
UK has ‘stark inequalities in child health’, report says. London: BBC Health News, January 26th 2017.
“ …the West Midlands had double the infant mortality rate of the South East in 2015, at 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births”.
Further BBC analysis:
Pym, H. (2017). Health inequality research offers UK wake-up call. London: BBC Health News, January 26th 2017.