UK census reveals stark divide in health of nation

October 10, 2013

Researchers at The University of Manchester have shown how ethnic minority groups in England and Wales have been consistently more unhealthy than the majority White population.

Analysing Census data from over two decades, the team find Pakistani and Bangladeshi women have long term rates which are 10 per cent higher than their White counterparts.

2011 figures reveal that White Gypsy or Irish Traveller men and women are most likely of all to be ill, and endure twice the White British rates at all ages.

The Chinese group, however, reported persistently better health in the 1991, 2001 and 2011 Censuses at half or under half the White illness rates for both .

Ethnic in London in 2011 were more severe than elsewhere in England and Wales, report the team based at the University's Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). The research was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The researchers focused on the Census question on limiting long-term illness, which was asked in all three Census years of 1991, 2001 and 2011.

Dr Laia Becares, who led the research, said: "Many factors cause poor health such as age, sex and hereditary factors.

"But education, social position, income, local environment, and experiences of racism and racial discrimination are much more important and adjustable through public policy.

"This helps us to understand why, as our research shows, different ethnic groups have very different - and in most cases worse - levels of ill health."

Also according to the team, ethnic health inequalities for older people are substantially greater: 56% of all women aged 65 or older in England and Wales reported a limiting long-term illness, but over 70% of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White Gypsy or Irish Traveller women at this age were ill.

There are also clear regional health inequalities – ethnic inequalities in London are larger than outside London.

Explore further: Targeted screening of ethnic minorities helps tackle heart disease and health inequalities

More information: The briefing 'Which ethnic groups have the poorest health? Ethnic health inequalities 1991 to 2011' is available at: www.ethnicity.ac.uk/

Related Stories

Targeted screening of ethnic minorities helps tackle heart disease and health inequalities

October 8, 2013
Targeting screening at deprived areas is a more cost effective way of identifying people in ethnic minority groups at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than mass screening and may help to reduce health inequalities.

Recommended for you

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.