SPATIAL INEQUALITIES IN MORTALITY EXPERIENCE IN WALES G. MELVYN HOWE G. Melvyn Howe, 1986: Spatial Inequalities in Mortality Experience in Wales. Cambria 13 (1) pp. 131 to pp. 149. Part III of Davies, W.K.D. (ed) Human Geography from Wales: Proceedings of the E.G. Bowen Memorial Conference. ISSN 0306-9796. A brief survey of the changing concepts of diseases introduces a discussion of the post-war changes in the causes of death in Britain. The very different mortality patterns of diseases within Wales over the 1980-82 period is illustrated by the distribution of deaths from: coronary heart disease, lung-bronchus cancer, female breast cancer and 'all causes'. G. Melvyn Howe, Dept. of Geography, University of 'Strathclyde, 26 Richmond St. Glasgow, Scotland. Gl 1XH. In Britain the medical profession and its organizations such as the Ministry of Health, the British Medical Association, the British Empire Cancer Campaign, the British Heart Foundation, etc., normally view the treatment of disease as a 'battle' in which physicians, aided by scientific technology, hope to 'conquer' disease. Such a view depicts disease as something beyond ourselves, an entity which attacks us, rather than something which we might also create and sustain through our way of life. It can be suggested that this view of disease as an entity (a battle to be won) is too simplistic. Two thousand four hundred years ago Hippocrates pointed out the need to understand the causes of disease if we are to control it. Yet only within the last century have we begun to make measurable progress in this direction. The introduction of the germ theory of disease towards the end of the nineteenth century shed light on the nature and causation of much of the illness then prevalent. Since then many living and inanimate agents capable of inducing human disease have been identified. The reductions in morbidity and mortality that have followed are clear at least in those areas of the world fortunate enough to possess the resources to apply the knowledge for the benefit of their population (Howe 1972a). For many years after the beginning of this era of discovery the guiding medical philosophy was that each human ailment had its own particular cause in much the same way that each force has its own equal and opposite reaction. This philosophy was most vividly expressed in the postulates of Koch a set of 'rules' that must be met or satisfied if
This text was generated automatically from the scanned page and has not been checked. Typical character accuracy is in excess of 99%, but this leaves one error per 100 characters.
The National Library of Wales has created and published this digital version of the journal under a licence granted by the publisher. The material it contains may be used for all purposes while respecting the moral rights of the creators.