Long Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities: Headline Indicators – October 2014

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

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Summary of results: 2012

All-cause mortality

  • Ages under 75 years: The absolute gap between most and least deprived areas is now smaller than in any other year covered by this report. However, relative inequality has been stable since 2006 and increased over the longer term.
  • Ages 15 to 44 years: Inequalities have reduced in the last year. This followed a reduction in mortality rates in the most deprived areas, while rates in the least deprived areas increased. Relative inequalities are at their lowest level since 1998.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

  • Heart attack admissions (under 75 years): In recent years, admission rates have increased more in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived, resulting in rising inequality levels.
  • CHD deaths (45-74 years): An increase in relative inequality in the last year took it to its highest level in the time series. However, the absolute gap between the most and least deprived areas has continued to fall.


  • Cancer incidence (under 75 years): There is no clear long-term trend in the pattern of inequalities. Patterns vary further when examining cancer incidence by type, although, of the four most common types, inequality levels are highest for cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung.
  • Cancer mortality (45-74 years): Relative inequality has increased slightly over the long term, while the absolute gap has reduced. There are varied patterns among different cancer types, with higher levels of inequality, which have proportionately increased over the long term, observed in deaths from cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung.


  • Alcohol-related hospital admissions (under 75 years): Admission rates are falling fastest in the most deprived areas, resulting in reduced inequality levels over the long term with both relative and absolute inequalities reaching their lowest levels in 2012.
  • Alcohol-related mortality (45-74 years): Although relative inequality has risen in the last year, the difference between rates in the most and least deprived areas is currently the smallest observed in the reporting period.


  • Healthy birthweight: Inequalities in both absolute and relative terms remain very low.
  • Low birthweight: Recent increases in low birthweight in deprived areas have resulted in a rise to inequalities, particularly in absolute terms, since 2008-2010, though they remain fairly low when viewed over the long term.


Email: Craig Kellock

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