To what extent can deprivation inequalities in mortality and heart disease incidence amongst the working aged in Scotland be explained by smoking? Relative and absolute approaches

Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1132-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 May 14.


Smoking is important for both population health and inequalities in health. There is a growing recognition that its impact on inequalities can be assessed both by standardising smoking rates across socio-economic groups and by assessing the effect of reducing the prevalence of smoking in all groups, so-called relative and absolute approaches. While national level studies (such as census-linkage studies) give vital information on the socio-economic gradient in health they often lack smoking data. Here, small area smoking estimates are linked to a national level longitudinal study to overcome this problem. Results confirm that in relative and especially absolute terms smoking plays an important role in inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Social Class