This research programme focuses on understanding and tackling health inequalities - the differences in health which persist across society, despite government action.
Child death rates, disease of the heart or blood vessels, and unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and excessive drinking, remain higher in more deprived areas of society. The causes of health inequalities are still uncertain and there are major gaps in knowledge about how to reduce the problem.
The programme will include work focusing on improving our fundamental understanding of the causes of inequalities in health, and on interventions (e.g. welfare rights advice) to reduce health inequalities. Research will focus primarily on inequalities in health according to social class, but attention will also be paid to health inequalities by ethnicity, gender, age and other factors.
The programme will develop research to:
Understand the social and behavioural factors involved in health inequalities, including the causes of unequal access to and outputs of health care. Work under this theme will seek to improve our current knowledge of the nature and causes of class inequalities in health so as to inform practical and affordable strategies to reduce them.
Tackle health inequalities. The team will seek to establish which interventions are effective and cost-effective in reducing inequalities. Particular attention will be paid to the risk factors associated with ill health, disability, disease or death, the role of the public health system, and key social factors including access to health services.
Use secondary data analysis to generate evidence to inform the development of complex interventions to reduce health inequalities.