Long-term Monitoring of Health Inequalities: Headline Indicators - October 2013

Annual update of the 'Long-term Monitoring of Health Inequalities' headline indicators.

Main Findings

  • Healthy life expectancy at birth: There continue to be inequalities in relative and absolute terms. Between 2009-2010 and 2011-2012, although inequalities appear to have widened slightly, the changes were not statistically significant. Changes to the methodology from 2009 mean comparisons with earlier years cannot be made.
  • Premature Mortality (under 75 years): Following a long-term increase, relative inequalities have stabilised since 2006. Inequalities have declined in absolute terms over the last decade.
  • Mental Wellbeing: Inequalities are increasing in absolute terms but remain stable in relative terms.
  • Low Birthweight: Having narrowed between 2006 and 2008, inequalities are now stabilising in both absolute and relative terms.
  • Healthy Birthweight: Inequalities, in both relative and absolute terms, have been low and stable since 1998.
  • Hospital admissions for heart attack (under 75 years): Over time, inequalities have fluctuated in both absolute and relative terms, with a general upward trend since 2008.
  • Coronary Heart Disease - deaths (45-74 years): Following a long-term increase, inequalities have stabilised in relative terms. In absolute terms, despite a slight increase in the latest year reported, inequalities have been narrowing.
  • Cancer Incidence (under 75 years): Over the long term, inequalities are stable in both absolute and relative terms. Patterns of inequality vary by cancer type.
  • Cancer deaths (45-74 years): Over the long term there has been a slight increase in relative inequality, although this has been more stable since 2004. Absolute inequalities have fluctuated over time with no clear trend (note that patterns of inequality vary depending on the cancer type).
  • Alcohol - first hospital admission (under 75 years): The level of absolute inequality has fallen since 1997, while relative inequality has remained stable over the same period.
  • Alcohol - deaths (45-74 years): The level of relative inequality has fallen to its lowest level in the reporting period (1998 to 2011). The level of absolute inequality is slightly higher than in 1998, but is lower than in all other years over the reporting period.
  • All-cause mortality aged 15-44 years: The level of relative inequality has increased since 1997 but in recent years has been more stable. Absolute inequality shows no clear trend over time.


Email: Craig Kellock

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