Dr Foster's Case Notes

Death rates in England and Wales and the United States: variation with age, sex, and race

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7479.1367 (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1367
  1. Brian Jarman,
  2. Paul Aylin
  1. Dr Foster Unit, Imperial College

The variation of health outcomes between ethnic groups is not easy to determine in the UK because ethnicity is not recorded on death certificates and is poorly recorded in hospital records. To better tackle health inequalities, more health data need to be categorised by ethnic group. Data on mortality by race are available for the United States. We compared mortality data for England and Wales with those for the United States and assessed their variation with race and age group.

The bottom line

  • In the United States, death rates vary greatly with race and are particularly high in black and African-American men and women. In men this is mainly related to HIV and deaths caused by firearms

  • Directly standardised death rates in England and Wales are similar to …

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