Poverty Doesn't Cause 'Glasgow Effect'

GLASGOW, Scotland, June 29 (UPI) — Poverty is a key factor of poor health, but it doesn’t explain the “Glasgow Effect,” premature deaths 30 percent higher than in other cities, researchers say.

Lead author David Walsh of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health — along with researchers at the University of Glasgow, NHS Manchester and Liverpool Primary Care Trust — says the study compared Glasgow, Scotland; to Liverpool, England; and Manchester, England — all which share higher levels of poverty and poor health.


The socioeconomic profiles of the populations living in all three cities are almost identical, but premature deaths in Glasgow are more than 30 percent higher than in the other cities and this “excess” mortality occurs in both males and females and across those living in deprived and non-deprived neighborhoods.

However, for premature mortality, rates tended to be higher for the more deprived areas, especially among men. About half of excess deaths in those under the age of 65 were directly related to alcohol and drugs, Walsh says.

“Although deprivation is an extremely important determinant of poor health, in this case it does not appear to explain why mortality rates are so much higher in Glasgow than in Liverpool and Manchester,” Walsh says in a statement. “A number of hypotheses have been suggested which we hope to be able to examine in detail in a second phase of research.”

The findings are published in the journal Public Health.

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