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Shrinking areas and mortality: an artefact of deprivation effects?
  1. Daniel J Exeter1,
  2. Z Feng1,
  3. Robin Flowerdew1,
  4. Paul J Boyle1,2
  1. 1School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK
  2. 2Social Dimensions of Health Institute, Dundee and St Andrews, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr D Exeter
 School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9AL, UK;


There is evidence that mortality rates are highest in areas that are experiencing population decline, and researchers have recommended that this should be accounted for in health resource allocation. This research finds a significant negative association between population change and mortality for small areas in Scotland, which remains when low social class is accounted for. However, this relation disappears when the area deprivation is accounted for. It is suggested that it is more important to account for deprivation than population change in health resource allocation.

  • SMR, standardised mortality ratio
  • CATT, consistent areas through time
  • population change
  • mortality
  • deprivation
  • Scotland
  • social class

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  • Funding: Daniel Exeter’s PhD was funded by an Overseas Research Student award, and by a University of St Andrews Lapsed Bursary award.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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