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J Public Health Med. 2000 Jun;22(2):176-81.

Investigation of the association between excess winter mortality and socio-economic deprivation.

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Division of Public Health, Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds.



Excess winter mortality is higher in England and Wales than in other European countries with similar or lower average winter temperatures. It might be expected that excess winter mortality would be higher in areas with greater socio-economic deprivation, and if this were so preventive interventions could be directed at populations in these areas. The association between deprivation and excess winter mortality has not been adequately investigated in the past. The aim of this study was to look at the association between excess winter mortality and socio-economic deprivation, so that policy decisions to reduce this excess mortality could be appropriately directed.


Super Profile groups derived from the 1991 Census were used as a measure of socio-economic status. The age-standardized excess winter death index (EWDI) was calculated for each Super Profile group, for the population of Bradford. The EWDI was also calculated for the manufacturing districts (Office for National Statistics area classification), a relatively deprived group, and compared with that for England and Wales.


No significant trend was found in age-standardized excess winter mortality across the Super Profile groups. The manufacturing districts had a similar EWDI to the national value.


Excess winter mortality is not associated with deprivation. Further research to identify the important aetiological factors and appropriate interventions to reduce excess winter mortality is needed.

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