People can check how their neighbourhood compares on conditions such as cancer and heart disease by using a detailed health atlas designed to help scientists to spot problems caused by pollution and pesticides.
Research has shown that Bridgend in south Wales and Trafford in Manchester are among areas where people’s health is consistently worse. Central London and Brighton prove consistently healthy.
The southwest has the highest rates of skin cancer even though the southeast has more sunshine, and liver cancer appears to be clustered in Liverpool and Manchester, according to the environmental health atlas created by scientists at Imperial College London.
Lung cancer rates vary greatly around the country, while breast cancer appears consistently across the country, according to envhealthatlas.co.uk. The atlas cannot show why disease rates vary but its creators said that it should prompt scientists to look at some connections more closely.
They urged for progress to be made in linking the controversial care data project withanonymised GP records to hospital data, as that would “hugely enhance” the level of detail available.
Anna Hansell, of the small area health statistics unit at Imperial College, said that the site was needed to improve the way Britain detected risks in the environment. “The atlas is a fantastic tool for researchers, policymakers and the public. It is the first publication in the UK to amalgamate data at this level,” she said.
Professor Paul Pharoah, of the University of Cambridge, said that the atlas did not “enable anyone to judge their individual absolute risk”, and should not used when deciding where to live…
A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community’s risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.
The map presents population-wide health information for England and Wales.
The researchers at Imperial College London pointed out that it could not be used to see an individual’s risk.
It indicated an area’s health risk, relative to the average for England and Wales, they stressed.