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UK child survival in a European context: recommendations for a national Countdown Collaboration
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  • Published on:
    Re: Where do the differences in childhood mortality rates between England & Wales and Sweden originate?
    • Ingrid Wolfe, Dr
    • Other Contributors:
      • Angela Donkin, Michael Marmot, Alison Macfarlane, Hilary Cass and Russell Viner

    We thank Zylbersztejn, et al for their constructive letter and for their support for the Countdown initiative. Their data suggests that high rates of preterm birth and thresholds for reporting preterm birth [1] in the UK were one of the most likely explanations for the disparities seen between the UK and European countries such as Sweden, and we agree this is likely (as outlined in our recent Lancet paper [2]. We agree en...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: Pickled Red Herrings
    • Ingrid Wolfe, Dr
    • Other Contributors:
      • Angela Donkin, Michael Marmot, Alison Macfarlane, Hilary Cass and Russell Viner

    Colvin correctly notes that we are interested in solution-focused research, and expresses some anxiety about our recommendations for improving child survival. There are two issues to consider in addressing his concerns: determining causality, and the burden of proof required to take action.

    First, Bradford Hill's criteria for considering causality are helpful in demonstrating why the association between poverty...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Pickled Red Herrings

    Wolfe et al heighten my anxiety about solution- focussed epidemiological research with their recommendations for improving child survival in the UK (1). The correlation of lower socio- economic inequality with better child health outcomes in Sweden is clear enough but correlation does not equal causation, as we never tire of hearing. The assertion that "child survival in Britain would be improved through macroeconomic po...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Where do the differences in childhood mortality rates between England & Wales and Sweden originate?

    We support the call for action by Wolfe et al. to address UK's high child mortality rates relative to some other European countries (e.g. Sweden) and we agree that preventive public health strategies are crucial for reducing child mortality in the UK. To put these aspirations into practice policy makers need to know which populations to target. In particular, whether the priority should be to focus on the health of women...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.