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Rurality, deprivation, and excess winter mortality: an ecological study


It has been suggested that rural areas in Britain are at increased risk of excess winter mortality and that government action should be targeted at these areas. A range of features—poor quality housing, high proportion of detached houses, lack of access to gas networks, and low take up of government energy efficiency grants—may make rural populations vulnerable to indoor cold exposure. Outdoor occupations and poor public transport systems in rural areas may increase outdoor cold exposure. The aim of this study was to assess the association between both rurality, and area deprivation, and excess winter mortality in a large region of England with a population of nearly six million and a distribution of both urban and rural areas.