Research Article

On the state of the public ill health: premature mortality in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 15 December 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1668
  1. J C Catford,
  2. S Ford


    Recently published data on mortality in the European Economic Community and Scandinavia convincingly showed that mortality among men and women aged 45-64 was considerably higher in the United Kingdom than elsewhere. This applied to deaths due to circulatory and respiratory disease, cancer, and all causes. For example, in 1980 in Scotland twice as many, or more, women aged 55-64 per 100 000 died of heart disease than in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, West Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Reductions in mortality from all causes during 1950-80 in the United Kingdom did not match those in other countries, such as Finland and France. Whether the public in the United Kingdom knows about its relatively poor mortality state is doubtful. To secure improved funding of appropriate preventive and treatment services directed at reducing premature mortality, public awareness should be raised urgently so that politicians and political parties will respond quickly in a way that the problem demands.