Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do spending cuts cost lives?

Date:
June 28, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Radical cuts to social welfare spending to reduce budget deficits could cause not just economic pain but cost lives, warn experts in a new study.

Radical cuts to social welfare spending to reduce budget deficits could cause not just economic pain but cost lives, warn experts in a study published online in the British Medical Journal.

While there is a major debate under way about the potential economic impacts of radical budget cuts in Europe, David Stuckler from the University of Oxford and his colleagues dissect the effect of public spending on people's health.

Their analysis shows that levels of social spending in Europe are "strongly associated" with risks of death, especially from diseases relating to social circumstances, such as heart attacks and alcohol-induced illness.

As such, they argue that, although governments may feel they are protecting health by safeguarding healthcare budgets, social welfare spending is as important, if not moreso, for population health.

The team evaluated data on social welfare spending collected by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 15 European countries in the years 1980 to 2005. This includes programmes to provide support to families and children, help the unemployed obtain jobs, and support for people with disabilities, all of which could plausibly affect health.

They analysed the relationship between trends in these data and social spending. They found that when social spending was high, mortality rates fell, but when they were low, mortality rates rose substantially.

Based on their mathematical models, the researchers estimated that each 70 reduction in social welfare spending per person would increase alcohol-related deaths by about 2.8% and cardiovascular mortality by 1.2%, so that even modest budget cuts could have a significant impact on public health.

The researchers found spending on social welfare to promote health, and not simply healthcare, had the greatest impact on public health. However, they also found that reducing spending on non-welfare sources, such as military or prisons, had no such negative impact on the public's health.

"This result indicates that some aspects of population health are sensitive to spending on social support," say the authors. "Nevertheless, health and social welfare programmes appears to be a key determinant of future population health that should be taken into account in ongoing economic debates."

They add: "This report reveals that ordinary people may be paying the ultimate price for budget cuts -- potentially costing them their lives. If we want to promote a sustainable recovery in Britain, we must first ensure that we have taken care of people's most basic health needs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Do spending cuts cost lives?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624214312.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, June 28). Do spending cuts cost lives?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624214312.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Do spending cuts cost lives?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624214312.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins