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Effects of local extrinsic mortality rate, crime and sex ratio on preventable death in Northern Ireland

Uggla, C; Mace, R; (2015) Effects of local extrinsic mortality rate, crime and sex ratio on preventable death in Northern Ireland. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health , 2015 (1) pp. 266-277. 10.1093/emph/eov020. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Individual investment in health varies greatly within populations and results in significant differences in the risk of preventable death. Life history theory predicts that individuals should alter their investment in health (somatic maintenance) in response to ecological cues that shift the perceived fitness payoffs to such investments. However, previous research has failed to isolate the effects of different ecological factors on preventable death, and has often relied on macro-level data without individual controls. Here, we test some key predictions concerning the local ecology-that higher extrinsic mortality rate (EMR), crime rate and mate-scarcity (male/female-biased sex ratio) at the ward-level-will be associated with a higher risk of preventable death. METHODOLOGY: We use census-based data from Northern Ireland (n = 927 150) on preventable death during an 8.7-year period from the 2001 Census and run Cox regressions for (i) accident/suicide or alcohol-related death and (ii) deaths from preventable diseases, for men and women separately, controlling for a wide range of individual variables. RESULTS: We find evidence of ward-level EMR and crime rate being positively associated with preventable death among men, particularly men with low socioeconomic position. There was a tentative relationship between male-biased sex ratio and preventable death among women, but not among men. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Both behaviours that might lead to 'risky' death and health neglect might be adaptive responses to local ecologies. Efforts to reduce crime might be as effective as those to reduce extrinsic mortality, and both could have positive effects on various health behaviours.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of local extrinsic mortality rate, crime and sex ratio on preventable death in Northern Ireland
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/emph/eov020
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/emph/eov020
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: adult sex ratio, census, crime, extrinsic mortality rate, health behaviour, life history theory, preventable death
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1483860
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