Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Inequalities in health in Britain: specific explanations in three Lancashire towns.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 21 March 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:749
  1. D J Barker,
  2. C Osmond


    The reasons why mortality is higher in the poorer areas of Britain are largely unknown. Thus how to reduce inequalities in health is a matter of conjecture. In three neighbouring towns in northern England the rates of death from all causes differ greatly. Socioeconomic conditions in the towns are similar though below average for England and Wales. The pattern of disease specific rates was analysed and related to past differences in infant mortality. It is suggested that past differences in maternal health and physique and in the postnatal environment, particularly infant feeding, housing, and overcrowding, may be determinants of current differences in adult mortality.