Research Article

Patterns of mortality among migrants to England and Wales from the Indian subcontinent.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 03 November 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1185
  1. R Balarajan,
  2. L Bulusu,
  3. A M Adelstein,
  4. V Shukla


    Causes of deaths in immigrants to England and Wales from the Indian subcontinent were assessed by ethnic subgroup. Observed and expected deaths for 1975-7 were aggregated to calculate proportional mortality ratios. Observed mortality due to infective and parasitic diseases, endocrine diseases (notably diabetes), diseases of the circulatory system (notably ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, in males), and diseases of the digestive system (notably cirrhosis of the liver) exceeded expected mortality. Fewer than expected deaths were due to malignant neoplasms (notably lung cancer and chronic bronchitis); proportional mortality ratios for cancer were lower for Hindu groups than for Moslems and were lowest for Punjabis. Mortality due to ischaemic heart disease, high in all groups, was highest in Moslems. Significantly more Punjabi males died from cerebrovascular disease and cirrhosis of the liver. Diabetes was commonest among Gujaratis. The variation seen in the patterns of mortality in the different ethnic groups indicates the need for further epidemiological and health service research centred on these communities.