Analysis of Coastal health outcomes.
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There has been relatively little research focusing on health and health care in coastal communities. The following chapter is an exploratory analysis comparing coastal and non-coastal areas using Quality Outcome Framework (QOF) data. The key findings of this chapter suggest that: • There is a higher burden of disease and health risk factors in coastal areas, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). • This difference is partly explained by age and deprivation. However, even after adjusting for these factors (and others including ethnicity), there remains a ‘coastal excess’ in the prevalence of disease and risk factors. • There is some evidence of a health service deficit in terms of recorded service standards, cancers indicators and emergency admissions. The cause of this is unclear. • Standardised Mortality Ratios (SMR) for a range of conditions, including preventable mortality, are significantly higher in coastal areas compared with non-coastal. • Life expectancy (LE), healthy life expectancy (HLE) and disability free life expectancy (DFLE) are all, on average, significantly lower in coastal areas for both males and females. • Lower participation in higher education and higher rates of hospital admissions due to health-risking behaviour by children and young people may point to a degree of socio-psychological as well as economic dislocation in coastal communities. • There is a lack of available small area data for detailed analysis of the health of local communities, both on and beyond the coastal fringe.
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