Coalfield health effects: Variation in health across former coalfield areas in England

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Regions affected by deindustrialisation are often characterised by unfavourable local health profiles. This was the situation in coalfield areas in England, where the scale and suddenness of the job losses in the 1980s and 1990s left these communities experiencing difficult socioeconomic conditions, and associated poor health status. Using data from the Health Survey for England, this paper examines whether poorer health outcomes still characterise coalfield areas today. Findings confirm a ‘coalfield health effect’ related to limiting long-term illness. With regards to self reported general health and mental health outcomes, results are less clear. The population health profile of coalfield communities is not homogeneous, with some coalfield communities faring worse than others, indicating more localised health issues.

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