This provides a collection of interactive maps illustrating geographical distributions of disease risk and environmental agents.
The Environment and Health Atlas for England and Wales provides interactive maps of geographical variations for a range of health conditions and environmental agents at a neighbourhood (small-area, census wards) scale in England and Wales. It also provides contextual information such as known risk factors for the health conditions and a summary of what is known about possible health effects associated with the environmental agents mapped in the atlas.
Users can explore the geographical pattern of 14 diseases and conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease along with maps of selected environmental agents such as air pollution and sunshine. It is the first time in the UK that these maps have been produced at such high spatial resolution - you can type in your postcode and see results by area.
Based on information collected and analysed by the UK small area health statistics unit, the maps have been developed as a resource for those working in public health and public health policy and for the general public to better understand the geographic distribution of environmental factors and disease and to identify questions for future research. The health outcome maps show the relative risk so there must always be some wards above average and some wards below average. It is important to note that this is not making direct causal links between the mapped environmental agents and disease outcomes. The maps provide information about risks and concentrations for areas, but risks and exposures for individuals living in those areas may differ. It is important to note that simple comparison of the maps of environmental agents and health conditions cannot be used to suggest causal associations. More information about other factors that might affect disease risk and further statistical analysis would be needed, including at individual level.
The UK small area health statistics unit is based at Imperial College London. An article on the findings of the Health Atlas was published in the Guardian on Friday 25th April 2014.