An index of unhealthy lifestyle is associated with coronary heart disease mortality rates for small areas in England after adjustment for deprivation

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Indices of socio-economic deprivation are often used as a proxy for differences in the health behaviours of populations within small areas, but these indices are a measure of the economic environment rather than the health environment. Sets of synthetic estimates of the ward-level prevalence of low fruit and vegetable consumption, obesity, raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol and smoking were combined to develop an index of unhealthy lifestyle. Multi-level regression models showed that this index described about 50% of the large-scale geographic variation in CHD mortality rates in England, and substantially adds to the ability of an index of deprivation to explain geographic variations in CHD mortality rates.

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