Socioeconomic inequalities in health expectancy with and without multimorbidity

We know that there are major gaps in life expectancy dependent on a person’s “socioeconomic position” – an individual’s economic and social position based on education, income, and occupation. Life expectancy at age 65 in the most deprived fifth of the English population was about four years shorter than that of the most affluent fifth in 2010. But how disease patterns and multimorbidity (living with two or more long term conditions at the same time) impact on mortality rates is much less clear.

We are investigating if disadvantaged groups acquire more, or more lethal combinations of, diseases over their life course; or, do disadvantaged groups simply become ill at ages younger than more affluent groups? We are comparing groups defined by their socioeconomic circumstances in terms of their disease-free (or ‘healthy’) life expectancy versus life spent years spent with one, two and three or more diseases, at different ages and by gender.


Principal investigators: Dr Madhavi Bajekal, University College London

Start date: January 2015

Partners and collaborators involved: University College London; Legal & General Assurance Society Limited; MRC Medical Bioinformatics Centre Leeds; FARR Institute


Watch a short video about the project featuring one of its Principal Investigators Dr Madhavi Bajekal