Professor Sheena Asthana and Dr Alex Gibson contributed to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer’s 2021 Annual Report on ‘Health in Coastal Communities’. Their work, which compared coastal and non-coastal areas using the Quality Outcome Framework – found:
- a higher burden of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health and COPD in coastal areas,
- age and deprivation are two causes of this but health service standards, indicators and emergency admissions may also play a part,
- life expectancy is significantly lower in coastal areas,
- lower participation in Higher Education, as well as higher rates of hospital admissions for young people with ‘health-risking behaviour’, show the effects of socio-psychological and economic dislocation in coastal communities.
Their findings also point to the lack of available data for small areas on or beyond the coastal fringe.