Objective: To examine the relative influence of area of residence on mortality risk along the life course in different age groups and to see if this differs for causes known to be related differently to various models of the life course.
Methods: Individual data from the Censuses in 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990 from Oslo, Norway, were linked to the death register 1990–1998. All male inhabitants living in Oslo in 1990 aged 30–69 years who had lived in Oslo at the three previous Censuses were included.
Results: In the youngest age group, area of residence closest to the time of death is most important for violent and psychiatric causes. In older age groups, area of residence at all time points in the period studied seemed to have a similar influence. Cardiovascular deaths were related to earlier as well as later area of residence in both young and old age groups. For violent and psychiatric causes, the most recent area may be the most important.
Conclusion: This paper explores a research strategy to investigate how the area of residence through the life course influences mortality. The associations seem to vary according to age at, and cause of, death.
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Competing interests: None.
Funding: The work was funded by Health and Rehabilitation, Norway, the Medical Research Council, the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive and our own institutions.
Author contributions: ON, BC, GDS and AL conceived the idea for the study. AL and ON analysed and wrote the first draft and GDS and BC contributed to analysing and writing later versions of the paper. ON will act as guarantor for the paper.
Ethics approval: Ethical approval was not required for this study.