Americans live three years less than their counterparts in France or Sweden. Scottish men survive two years less than English men. Across Europe, women in the poorest communities live up to ten years less than those in the richest. Revealing gaps in life expectancy of up to 25 years between places just a few miles apart, this important book demonstrates that where you live can kill you.
Clare Bambra, a leading expert in public health, draws on case studies from across the globe to examine the social, environmental, economic and political causes of these health inequalities, how they have evolved over time and what they are like today.
Bambra concludes by considering how health divides might develop in the future and what should be done, so that where you live is not a matter of life and death.
Danny Dorling provides a foreword.
Clare Bambra is Professor of Public Health, Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, UK. Her research focuses on the political, social, economic and environmental determinants of health inequalities, and the role of public policies in reducing them. She has published extensively in the field of health inequalities and contributed to numerous national and international policy reviews and inquiries. She can be followed on Twitter @ProfBambra
"A careful analysis of persistent geographical health inequalities." - Health Affairs
“This clearly written book, full of striking examples from around the world, shows that geography is as relevant for population health as ever” Professor Johan Mackenbach, Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands
"[The book's] messages should be loudly broadcast and be compulsory reading for politicians." Doctors for the NHS Newsletter
“an important book that demonstrates the value of careful analysis of health inequities data and close examination of the factors that explain why the data show the patterns they do.” International Journal of Epidemiology
"Inequality in the UK is nothing to do with the poor being a hopeless underclass, destined for extinction in a Darwinian world where only the fittest survive. As Clare Bambra... spells out, it has everything to do with factors such as poor housing, poor nutrition and lack of educational and employment opportunities." Times Higher Education
"A welcome supplemental text for courses in health policy and introductory epidemiology, as well as a valuable primer for policy-makers." Science
"This numerical journey through the geographies of health and disease drives home one vital message: inequalities of place create inequalities in health. As the book eloquently observes, the political economy and geography of inequality largely determines how well, and how long, one is likely to live." Professor Ronald Labonte, University of Ottawa, Canada
"Bambra’s razor sharp, timely and comprehensive analysis should be read by anyone concerned about inequality." Mary O'Hara, Guardian Journalist and author
"Clare Bambra provides a good, easy-to-understand introduction to the major causes of health inequality in rich countries." Socialist Party
"A broad-ranging account of how place is implicated in large and growing health inequalities in some of the most affluent societies of the world. …squarely implicates policies of the neoliberal era in a compelling argument that, if heeded, could make for a healthier society" Professor James R. Dunn, McMaster University, Canada and Co-Editor, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
“I recommend this book strongly to health professionals and medical students as it provides a comprehensive overview of health inequalities and the multiple connections between where we live and how long we live” Professor Pali Hungin, President of the British Medical Association
“Drawing on current and historical data from the UK and the US, Clare Bambra brilliantly demonstrates how increasing geographical and social health inequities stem from policy decisions and how different political choices could reduce them” Professor Louise Potvin, Canada Research Chair, University of Montreal, Canada & Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
“A highly accessible text that provides a forensic investigation into how and why geography matters for health and inequalities.…Profoundly important and complemented with urgent and thought- provoking guidelines for what needs to be done to address this seemingly intractable societal problem.” Professor Jamie Pearce, University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Co-Editor, Health and Place
"An excellent overview of the importance of geography for public health. A strong contribution to the health geography and public health literatures which highlights the importance of politics and policies for the unequal spatial distribution of health. I recommend it.” Dr Paul Norman, University of Leeds, England and Co-Editor, Population, Space and Place
“Clare Bambra, a global leader in population health research who has been at the avant-garde in understanding how politics matters for life and death, has contributed a major, readable new statement that captures crucial insights from a new wave of political epidemiology. Health Divides will change the way you think about health and illness”. Professor Jason Beckfield, Harvard University, USA