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How exactly do politics play a part in determining health? New perspectives on an age old issue
  1. C C Kelleher
  1. Department of Health Promotion, Clinical Sciences Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Costello Road, Shantalla, Galway City, Republic of Ireland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor C Kelleher;

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Voting patterns, suicide, and mortality

This is the latest study to demonstrate an association between type of political pattern and health status, in this case suicide.1 Previous studies have also identified a more general relation between party political voting pattern and mortality.2–5 In this respect, the mechanism through which change in political regime might affect health is of considerable interest. Although the analysis in this paper was also undertaken at ecological rather than at individual level, it is persuasive that there is a temporal relation between the patterns of suicide and the changing governing party. What is particularly notable is the graduated effect seen, with rates highest when both Federal and National Governments were conservative. In the United Kingdom the effect was similar, in that the Liberal Democrat supporting constituencies, occupying an intermediate political position, had less strong relations with all cause standardised mortality ratio than for either Conservative or Labour voting constituencies.2 In the Republic of …

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  • Conflicts of interest: none.