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A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 08 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:421
  1. John Fox, chief medical statistician
  1. Office for National Statistics, London

    Ed Diana Kuh, Yoav Ben-Shlomo

    Oxford University Press, £45, pp 317

    ISBN 0 19 2627821

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    The 20th century has seen a remarkable shift in the health of populations in industrialised countries. For example, life expectancy in England and Wales has risen from 48.5 years in men and 52.4 years in women in 1901 to 74.4 and 79.6 years respectively in 1996. The main causes of death in 1901 were bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, and pneumonia; in 1996 they were ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and pneumonia.

    Changes of this size imply that different factors influence health today from at the start of the century. …

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