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MHF welcomes WHO report and methodology

The MHF has welcomed the World Health Organisation's recent report on social determinants and life expectancies.

By breaking down - or disaggregating - statistics in greater detail, they have enabled comparisons to be drawn between localities and genders which are often missed when looking at national or whole population figures. For example, the life expectancies of men in Glasgow vary by 28 years depending on whereabouts in the city they're born. In London they can vary by 11.

Writing in an editorial on this website, MHF president Dr Ian Banks calls aggregated data 'one of the greatest curses for addressing the often dreadful state of men's health'.

The government, which has undertaken to narrow the gap in life expectancy and infant mortality between rich and poor by 10% by 2010, has acknowledged that this report shows how far they are from this target.

Perhaps the lesson of this report is that facilitating the greater use of disaggregated data to look at smaller areas or population groups that may otherwise be missed will enable policy makers - and the rest of us - to understand why, despite all the efforts, such targets are not being met.


Page created on September 1st, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009