Survival is better indicator than mortality in geographic comparisons of health

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7130.556 (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:556
  1. P A West, Senior lecturer in health economicsa
  1. a Berkshire Health Authority, Reading, Berkshire RG30 2BA

    Editor—I have thought for some time that the way in which mortality and the risks of death are reported can give a misleading impression. Wise's news item about a report on premature deaths in Britain confirms my worries.1 2

    In any comparison of mortality (or any other statistics), if the denominator is a small number and getting smaller over time then, even if the numerator is unchanged, the effects over time can suggest dramatic change. For example, …

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