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Gaps between UK social groups in infant mortality are widening

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39125.580197.DB (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:335
  1. Sally Hargreaves
  1. London

    Despite an overall improvement in infant mortality in the United Kingdom, inequalities between different social and ethnic groups are widening, says a Department of Health report published this week.

    A department spokesman said, “Infant mortality is at an all time low, and the rate continues to fall. However, there remains a gap between the routine and manual classes and the general population.

    “Our target is to reduce the infant mortality gap by at least 10% by 2010. We are not complacent. This remains a challenging target.”

    Previous research has shown that people in routine and manual occupations—such as porters and cleaners—and in ethnic minorities show consistently poorer health outcomes than the general population.

    The government introduced targets in 2003 to reduce the gap in infant mortality across social groups, as well as to raise life expectancy …

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