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Social patterning of medical mortality in youth and early adulthood

Listed author(s):
  • Blane, D.
  • Bartley, M.
  • Smith, G. Davey
  • Filakti, H.
  • Bethune, A.
  • Harding, S.
Registered author(s):

    It has been suggested that socio-economic gradients in health reduce or disappear during youth, to be re-created during early adulthood through a process of health-related social mobility. The present analysis tests this hypothesis in relation to 'medical mortality', using a data set which is free of numerator-denominator bias. The sample consists of the appropriate age groups in the OPCS Longitudinal Study; 62,647 males and 59,644 females aged 0-14 at the 1971 census. 'Medical mortality' during 1971-1985, calculated as standardised mortality ratios, is analysed by parental social class, housing tenure and car access in 1971. 'Medical mortality' during 1981-1985 is analysed by own social class in 1981. The results suggest that 'medical mortality' is inversely related to social advantage at ages of death 0-9 years, that this gradient flattens or disappears at ages 10-14 and that it re-emerges at ages 15-19. Within the present analysis this apparent re-emergence could not have been due to health-related social mobility. It is concluded that the apparent absence of socio-economic gradients in 'medical mortality' during youth may be an artefact of the high levels of health enjoyed by this age group and its consequent low levels of non-accidental death.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 39 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 361-366

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:39:y:1994:i:3:p:361-366
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