A social gradient in health is well established, whereby health worsens with increasing socioeconomic disadvantage.
This report from the Office for National Statistics found that the social gradient in health was steepest in the North, showing more marked contrasts between the least and most deprived areas than in England as a whole. However, this should not detract from the fact that in London particularly, the contrast in levels of exposure to deprivation can be among the largest.
This report illustrates that when looking at a cluster of local areas with particularly high and low healthy life expectancy (HLE), the local population profiles across a range of indicators were largely distinct. The lowest HLE areas had fewer people of working age economically active, a smaller proportion in employment, a higher proportion seeking work and a higher proportion economically inactive because of long-term sickness or disability.