A comparative study of the relationship between deprivation and health status in Northern Ireland and Scotland
Dr Dermot O’Reilly and Dr Michael Rosato
Queen’s University Belfast
Both Northern Ireland and Scotland have been shown to be more deprived and to suffer higher levels of morbidity and mortality than other regions in the UK. Previous work comparing Scotland to England and Wales showed that even after controlling for deprivation, Scotland still experienced an excess of mortality, a phenomenon which has become known as the “Scottish effect”. To date, no detailed comparisons of the relationship between deprivation and health in Northern Ireland and Scotland have been conducted. However, the recent introduction of longitudinal studies, based on the censuses, in both Northern Ireland and Scotland allow such comparisons to be made.
Such comparisons will increase understanding of the associations between deprivation and health status along a number of fronts. Firstly, they will identify similarities and variations in the relationship between deprivation and health status in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Secondly, they will show if the “Scottish effect” continues to hold when Northern Ireland is used as the comparison and after suitable adjustment for any differences in levels of deprivation. Finally, by reference to respective health surveys, see what other factors (such as life style or behavioural factors) might explain any excess poor health in Scotland.
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