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Grim up North or Northern grit? Recessions and the English spatial health divide (1991–2010)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Copeland, Professor Clare Bambra

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Abstract

Background Previous research suggests that the health effects of recessions are mixed and vary spatially between countries. Using the North-South English health divide as an example, this paper examines whether there are also spatial variations within countries. Methods Cross-sectional data on self-reported ‘not good health’ was obtained from the British Household Panel Survey and the Health Survey for England from 1991 to 2010. Age-adjusted generalized linear models were used to examine the effects of recessions (1990/91 and 2008/09) on self-reported health in the four English NHS Commissioning Regions (North, South, Midlands and London) with stratification by gender. Results Over the 20-year study period, the North had consistently higher rates of ‘not good health’ than the South [OR 1.50 (1.46–1.55) outside recessions and OR 1.29 (1.19–1.39) during recessions]. However, during periods of recession, this health divide narrowed slightly with a 2% decrease in the prevalence of ‘not good health’ in the North [OR 0.91 (0.86, 0.96)].Conclusion This study is evidence of spatial variations in the health effects of recessions within England and the North-South divide appears to slightly reduce during recessions. Health in the North remains worse than the South.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Copeland A, Kasim A, Bambra C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Public Health

Year: 2014

Pages: 1-6

Online publication date: 10/03/2014

ISSN (print): 1741-3842

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3850

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdu019

DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdu019


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