Editor's choice

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:0

The big idea

Big ideas are exciting. Politicians are constantly searching for them and usually failing to find any. Every scientist would like to discover one, and scientific journals love them as well. Big ideas don't often arise, but the BMJ has been associated with several - and one of them is explored further this week. The big idea is that what matters in determining mortality and health in a society is less the overall wealth of that society and more how evenly wealth is distributed. The more equally wealth is distributed the better the health of that society. One political implication, appealing to those on the left, is that the best way to improve health in a society might …

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