Glover said the biggest concern was that health inequalities had widened since the researchers examined variations in mortality among voters in a 2016 analysis.
“For people in Bradfield and Wentworth, the results have improved slightly, but for those in Lindsay, the risk of premature death has risen from 10 to 20 percent above the national average, compared with data from about 10 years ago.
“The differences in death rates that we see between zip codes also play out among the electorate, regardless of political party,” Glover said.
Overall, the analysis showed that variations in mortality were not strongly correlated with voting preference, Glover said.
“In Sydney, Labor seats had a higher early mortality rate than Coalition seats. But nationally, the picture is mixed,” he said.
“There are higher death rates in Labor voters such as Lingiari and Dobell, as well as in rural seats such as Parkes, which is owned by the Nationals and Durack, which is controlled by the Liberals.
“In general, the inequalities are less about which electorate you sit in and a lot more about the level of deprivation in the community … where there is less access to education or work,” Glover said.
Death rates were 1.65 times higher among voters of lower socioeconomic status compared to wealthy seats.
In Cook, the electorate of Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney, the premature death rate fell 24 percent below the national average, while that in Grayndler, the seat of opposition leader Anthony Albanese, was 15 percent lower. But in New England, the electorate of Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, the premature death rate was 22 percent above the national average.
Philip Clark, co-author and director of the Health Economics Research Center at the University of Oxford, said there has been a remarkable lack of political debate about the widening gap in premature death.
“The motivation for doing this research was to demonstrate the health disparities in Australia. In the UK it’s a pretty standard part of the political debate, acknowledging that there are inequalities but also trying to think about how one could tackle inequalities,” Clark said.
Nationally, Lingiari’s seat in the Northern Territory had the worst outcome, with premature deaths more than twice the national average. The median age of death in the chair is 60 years.
In Victoria, Kooyong had the lowest death rate, 42 percent below the national average. The median age at death in that seat is 87.
“These data is a warning that as we take the gears out of COVID-19, the situation is likely to get worse,” Broome said, pointing out that tens of thousands of missed cancer screenings, suspended surgeries, worsening mental health problems and missed medical appointments during lockdowns could increase the risk of illness. health gaps are likely to widen in the coming years.
“With care delayed, we will see a surge in early deaths and a rise in deaths along the tracks. Unless we take swift and protective action to rectify disparities in health outcomes, we will paint an even more disastrous picture in five or ten years.”
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