Commentary Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 2018, Vol. 111(6) 199–202 DOI: 10.1177/0141076818779237 The cuts and poor health: when and how can we say that one thing causes another? 1 2 1 Lucinda Hiam , Danny Dorling and Martin McKee London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, WC1E 7HT, UK School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK Corresponding author: Lucinda Hiam. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 5–11 Life expectancy in England and Wales has stalled. and social care. Yet, others reject this argument, At some older ages, it is declining. One of the most citing alternative explanations such as unknown 12 13,14 widely used measures of the health of the population, infectious agents, cold weather and inﬂuenza. life expectancy is calculated from age-speciﬁc death Others have noted the challenges of interpreting rates. Life expectancy at birth in high-income coun- short-term trends and urged caution in inferring 15,16 tries has been improving steadily, albeit with some causality from an observed association. In a small ﬂuctuations, for decades. If the data are accur- recent debate on life expectancy and austerity that ate, in the absence of other causative factors – ende- cited extensively our previous research,
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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