Mortality rates look at the number of people who die relative to the size and age of the population at any one time, and give a general measure of the health of that population. One variant is to look at the subset of deaths ‘amenable to healthcare’ which is based on premature deaths (under age 75) for a list of diseases where it is believed that effective and timely health care can reduce the chances of somebody dying. In both cases, it has been recognised for a long time that people who live in more affluent areas, or more affluent social groups, have better health and this can be seen in terms of the lower mortality rates in more affluent areas.
Data are based on latest revisions of Office for National Statistics (ONS) population estimates for the respective years. Numerators are the total number of deaths in specific age groups, or number of deaths judged to be amenable to health care, as appropriate (HSCIC 2013). Amenability to health care is based on the original underlying cause of death, and being aged under 75. Denominators are 2011 census based mid-year population estimates for the respective calendar years. Mortality amenable to health care only considers populations aged 0 to 74.