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Health Inequalities Intervention Tool

This tool is part of the Health Inequalities Intervention Toolkit

To access the Toolkit to find the latest Life Expectancy Tool for Spearhead areas (2010) and the new Infant Mortality Tool, please click here

Instructions and interpretation of results

Using the tool and understanding the results

The health inequalities intervention tool is split into two sections. The first allows you to look at the gap in life expectancy between the most deprived quintile (MDQ) in the local authority selected and a range of comparators; and the second allows you to model the impact of four interventions on life expectancy in the local authority and the most deprived quintile of the local authority selected. It is recommended that you consider the analysis of the life expectancy gap in your area before modelling the impact of interventions on life expectancy, as the gap analysis gives an indication of which diseases make a greater contribution to the life expectancy gap, and therefore which interventions are most appropriate.

Analysis of the life expectancy gap

After selecting a local authority on the next page, click on 'view gap analysis charts'

To display a chart it is necessary to select a comparator from one of the five available. These are:

  • The local authority selected as a whole
  • The least deprived quintile in the local authority selected
  • The remainder of the local authority selected (ie the local authority without the most deprived quintile)
  • England as a whole
  • England's least deprived quintile

Once a comparator has been selected, the bar charts displayed show the increases in life expectancy (in years) that would occur in the most deprived quintile of the local authority selected if it had the same mortality rate as the comparator selected for each cause of death separately. i.e. the charts show those diseases where the most deprived quintile has a greater mortality rate than the selected comparator, or there is excess mortality. The charts only show diseases where there is excess mortality in the most deprived quintile of the local authority in relation to the comparator. If there is no (or negative) excess mortality, no bar is shown on the charts.

It is also possible to view a 'scarf chart' for the area and comparator selected. These show the percentage contribution of various causes of death to the life expectancy gap between the most deprived quintile of the local authority and comparator selected. The stripes of the scarf do not include the same number of people. Deaths in younger people, especially in babies, contribute to a larger proportion of the gap as more years of life are lost.

Select another LA to consider by returning to the local authority selection screen, or go to the interventions screen the start modelling the impact of the interventions.

Interventions

The interventions tool allows you to model the impact of one or more of the four interventions available on life expectancy in the local authority as a whole, and the most deprived quintile (MDQ) of the local authority, and consider the impact of this change on the gap in life expectancy between the most deprived quintile and the local authority as a whole. When the local authority selected is a spearhead area, the gap between the area and England is also displayed so that progress towards meeting the national life expectancy inequalities target can be considered.

The tool contains four interventions. These are:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Interventions to reduce infant mortality
  • Treatment with antihypertensives
  • Treatment with statins

To begin using the tool, check the boxes next to the interventions you want to model. It is possible to model one intervention at a time or a combination of the interventions. Statins can only be modelled in combination with antihypertensives. Infant mortality may only be modelled if there were more than 35 infant deaths in the area selected in 2001-05.

For each of the interventions selected, enter you planned figures into the boxes. The ? symbol gives you help more information on what information is required. Current data for the local authority selected can be viewed in the 'Current Local Authority Information' box section to help you in this process.

Click on 'Calculate' to obtain your modelled figures.

The tool displays results for two scenarios:

  1. the interventions are applied across the whole local authority (viewed in the LA columns in the results box)
  2. the interventions are targeted in the most deprived quintile only (viewed in the MDQ columns of the results box)

The help buttons describe the results displayed in each of the boxes.

The aim of the model is to demonstrate the scale of change in the interventions required to reduce the life expectancy gap and the relative importance of these interventions. It is not a tool to predict the actual life expectancy gap in a given year, and should not be used in this way.

For all areas, the tool shows the effect on the gap between the most deprived quintile of the local authority and the local authority as a whole if the planned interventions are achieved and there is no other change in life expectancy in the local authority for any reason. The modelled change in the local authority life expectancy in the MDQ column is assumed to be solely due to the impact of the interventions applied in the most deprived quintile.

For spearhead local authorities, the tool also shows the effect on the gap between the local authority/most deprived quintile and England assuming that life expectancy in England remains constant and a change in any other interventions in the local authority have no impact on life expectancy. Therefore it is likely to be an overestimation on the change in the gap as in reality interventions will also increase in the rest of England and life expectancy in England will rise.