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'The very pests of society': the Irish and 150 years of public health in England

'The very pests of society': the Irish and 150 years of public health in England

Clinical Medicine 4(1): 77-81

In the context of efforts to reduce health inequalities, the health status of the Irish in England should be a major subject for concern. As England's longest standing and most numerous ethnic minority, the Irish have at times been regarded as a public health threat and have repeatedly been stereotyped in literature and image. There has also been a failure to recognise and celebrate the contributions to the improvement of public health made by members of the irish community such as Kitty Wilkinson. In recent years alarming evidence has emerged that the mortality of Irish people living in England appears to have worsened in successive generations. Comparison of available data on some of the key determinants of ill health shows that the Irish in England have a worse profile than the Irish living in Ireland. A concerted programme of action is needed to investigate why the irish should have such poor health status and to develop a programme to address it.

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Accession: 012688040

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PMID: 14998274

DOI: 10.7861/clinmedicine.4-1-77

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