Death rates

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  • Death rates
    • Why?
      • Improved nutrition
        • McKeown- resulted in 1/2+ reduction in death rate, including for TB
        • Higher resistance to illness- but why do girls live longer? Why did some infectious diseases rise?
      • Others: ?fewer manual jobs ?smaller families= less infection ?greater knowledge of illness ?higher incomes =healthier
      • Public health measures and environmental procedures
        • Pasteurised milk
        • Better housing
        • Improved sewage disposal
        • Purer drinking water
        • Clean Air Acts
      • Medical improvements after 1950s: ?antibiotics ?widespread immunisation ?NHS in 1949 ?blood transfusions ?by-pass surgery ?better midwifery and maternity services
    • What's going on?
      • Death rate: ?1900- 19 ?2007- 10
      • Rise in 2 World Wars and 1918 influenza (690,000 per year)
      • Overall number stable since 1900- 600,000 per year
      • Number of people over 65 years was predicted to overtake under-16s in 2014 due to higher age expectancy, declining infant mortality and declining fertility
      • Higher age expectancy- ?1971- 34.1 years ?2007- 39.6 years ?2031?- 42.6 years?
    • Impact
      • General- newborn babies are now more likely to live to the age of 65 than live to 1 in 1900- 15% of babies died in their 1st year
      • Class, gender and regional differences- women live longer than men, Southerners live longer than those from North and Scotland, working-class men are 3x more likely to die before 65
      • One-person pensioner households-increasing- 14% of all households. Mostly female
      • Dependency ratio- ?more retired?more burden on workers, e.g. taxation ?1/10 men in 50s no longer working ?more old people=?dependency ratio
      • Public services- elderly consume many health and social care services, but many remain in good health. Changes may be needed for policies and provision of housing, transport and services
      • Old people are regarded as incompetent burdens, and there are fears of the pensions time bomb


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