Geographic correlation between deprivation and risk of meningococcal disease: an ecological study

Williams, Christopher J.; Willocks, Lorna J.; Lake, Iain R.; Hunter, Paul R.
January 2004
BMC Public Health;2004, Vol. 4, p30
Academic Journal
Background: Meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis is a serious infection which is most common in young children and adolescents. This study investigated the relationships between the incidence and age distribution of meningococcal disease, and socioeconomic environment. Methods: An ecological design was used, including mapping using a Geographical Information System (GIS) at census ward level. Results: Incidence of meningococcal disease was highest in the most deprived wards, with a relative risk of 1.97 (1.55 - 2.51). Mapping revealed geographical coincidence of deprivation and meningococcal disease, particularly in urban areas. Two-thirds of the increased incidence was due to cases in the under fives. Conclusions: The results suggest that area deprivation is a risk factor for meningococcal disease, and that its effects are seen most in young children.


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