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9 Dec 2022

The implications of health inequalities on Covid-19, and how the cost of living crisis is a public health issue

Houses of Parliament

Professor Clare Bambra (Newcastle University) is our ARC theme lead for Inequalities and Marginalised Communities. She is also national ARCs lead for Inequalities, as well as leading the NIHR ARCs National Consortia for Health and Care Inequalities.

On 9 December, she contributed to an Independent Sage event on Covid-19 and the implications of health inequalities.

During the discussion, she highlights recent work co-delivered with ARCs in the North (and with the Northern Health Science Alliance) which demonstrates the unequal impact that deprivation has had on Covid-19 deaths in the North of England; with the most deprived areas in the North experiencing 14.5% more deaths per 10,000 than those in equally deprived areas in the rest of England.

She also calls for whole scale public health reform, and discusses how the cost of living crisis is a huge public health issue – making a key point about the fact that when people are unable to heat their homes and have adequate food, it makes them more vulnerable to illness.

She also highlights the role of underlying health conditions and the burden of clinical risk factors which are not equally distributed (and which are higher in areas of deprivation).

Watch the discussion below

(Prof Bambra’s presentation begins at 16:53 and she makes further comments from 41:30)