Long-Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities

The following is a summary of a recent report from Scotland’s chief statistician and is taken from the Community Health Exchange Bulletin – Snippets-

I find this bulletin really useful as a way of keeping up to date on health improvement  / health inequalities issues. It is well written with short concise summaries and lots of web links for more detailed information. For more information on CHEX and to register for Snippets visit www.chex.org.uk

 

 

Scotland’s Chief Statistician published the report Long-Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities: Headline Indicators, September 2009 last week. This report represents the second of a series of annual updates of headline indicators of inequalities and has been published following a recommendation in the report of the Ministerial Task Force, Equally Well.

 

The report includes both absolute and relative measures, which assess the size of the health equalities gap between the most deprived and least deprived groups in Scotland and how steep the inequalities gradient is.  The main findings were:

  • Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) at birth: Inequalities in HLE are stable in both absolute and relative terms.
  • Premature Mortality from all causes, in adults aged under 75 years: Inequalities are stable in absolute terms but are widening in relative terms.
  • Mental Wellbeing in adults aged 16 years and over: The data for Mental Wellbeing measured by Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) are reported here for the first time. The mean score in the least deprived decile was higher than that of the most deprived decile (a higher score indicates better mental wellbeing).
  • Low birthweight: Inequalities are narrowing in both absolute and relative terms.
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), first ever hospital admission for heart attack in adults aged under 75 years: Inequalities have decreased in both absolute and relative terms in recent years but increased slightly in the latest year.
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), deaths in adults aged 45-74 years: Inequalities have narrowed in absolute terms but are widening in relative terms.
  • Cancer incidence rate in adults aged under 75 years: Inequalities are stable in both absolute and relative terms.
  • Cancer deaths in adults aged 45-74 years: Inequalities are increasing both in absolute and relative terms.
  • Alcohol first ever hospital admission in adults aged under 75 years: Inequalities are stable both in absolute and relative terms.
  • Alcohol deaths in adults aged 45-74 years: Inequalities are increasing both in absolute and relative terms.

 For more details, visit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/09/29103539.  Download the report at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/09/25112211/0.