Is council tax valuation band a predictor of mortality?

Beale, Norman R.; Taylor, Gordon J.; Straker-Cook, Dawn M. K.
January 2002
BMC Public Health;2002, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: All current UK indices of socio-economic status have inherent problems, especially those used to govern resource allocation to the health sphere. The search for improved markers continues: this study proposes and tests the possibility that Council Tax Valuation Band (CTVB) might match requirements. Presentation of the hypothesis: To determine if there is an association between CTVB of final residence and mortality risk using the death registers of a UK general practice. Testing the hypothesis: Standardised death rates and odds ratios (ORs) for groups defined by CTVB of dwelling (A - H) were calculated using one in four denominator samples from the practice lists. Analyses were repeated three times -- between number of deaths and CTVB of residence of deceased 1992 - 1994 inclusive, 1995 - 1997 inc., 1998 - 2000 inc. In 856 deaths there were consistent and significant differences in death rates between CTVBs: above average for bands A and B residents; below average for other band residents. There were significantly higher ORs for A, B residents who were female and who died prematurely (before average group life expectancy). Implications of the hypothesis: CTVB of final residence appears to be a proxy marker of mortality risk and could be a valuable indicator of health needs resource at household level. It is worthy of further exploration.


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