Publication detailsCopeland, A., Kasim, A. & Bambra, C. Grim up North or Northern Grit? Recessions and the English spatial health divide (1991-2010). Journal of Public Health. 2015;37:34-39.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1741-3842 (print), 1741-3850 (electronic)
- DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdu019
- Keywords: Economics, North South divide, Public health, Recessions, Social determinants.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Background Previous research suggests that the health effects of recessions are mixed and vary spatially between countries. Using the North-South English health divide as an example, this paper examines whether there are also spatial variations within countries.
Methods Cross-sectional data on self-reported ‘not good health’ was obtained from the British Household Panel Survey and the Health Survey for England from 1991 to 2010. Age-adjusted generalized linear models were used to examine the effects of recessions (1990/91 and 2008/09) on self-reported health in the four English NHS Commissioning Regions (North, South, Midlands and London) with stratification by gender.
Results Over the 20-year study period, the North had consistently higher rates of ‘not good health’ than the South [OR 1.50 (1.46–1.55) outside recessions and OR 1.29 (1.19–1.39) during recessions]. However, during periods of recession, this health divide narrowed slightly with a 2% decrease in the prevalence of ‘not good health’ in the North [OR 0.91 (0.86, 0.96)].
Conclusion This study is evidence of spatial variations in the health effects of recessions within England and the North-South divide appears to slightly reduce during recessions. Health in the North remains worse than the South.