Assessing the impact of socio‐demographics and farming activity on ward‐level mortality patterns using farm and population decennial censuses

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Abstract

Introduction and Objective
Farmers experience a specific set of unique dangers, which increases their risk of mortality compared with any other occupation. This study hypothesised that Northern Ireland's (NIs) agriculturally saturated Wards have a higher risk of mortality compared against non‐agriculturally based Wards.

Design
The Population Census and Farm Census information were downloaded from the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Service (NINIS) online depository to compile three mortality‐based data sets (2001, 2011, pooled data sets). Assessing the impact of socio‐demographics and farming activity on Ward‐level mortality patterns using farm and population decennial censuses. This study analysed all 582 Ward areas of NI, which enclosed the entire populace of the country in 2001 and 2011.

Findings
Path analysis was utilised to examine direct and indirect paths linked with mortality within two census years (2001; 2011), alongside testing pathways for invariance between census years (pooled data set). Ward‐level results provided evidence for exogenous variables to mortality operating through three/four endogenous variables via: (i) direct effects (age), (ii) summed indirect effects (age; males; living alone; farming profit; and deprivation) and (iii) total effects (age; males; living alone; and deprivation). Multi‐group results cross‐validated these cause‐and‐effect relationships relating to mortality.

Discussion and Conclusion
This study demonstrated that farming intensity scores, farming profits and socio‐demographics' influence on mortality risk in a Ward were dependent on the specific social‐environmental characteristics within that area. In line with earlier area level research, results support the aggregated interpretation that higher levels of farming activity within a Ward increase the risk of mortality within those Wards of NI. This was an essential study to enable future tailoring of new strategies and upgrading of current policies to bring about significant mortality risk change at local level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-376
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date26 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 26 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

Keywords

  • NINIS data
  • path analysis
  • aggregated data
  • mortality patterns
  • agricultural areas

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