Goldblatt P. Mortality by social class, 1971-85. Population Trends 1989; 56: 6-15.
Recent analyses of British decennial supplement data by social class have suggested that mortality differences are continuing to widen for both men and women. This has stimulated discussion about the validity of the cross-sectional approach used in deriving these estimates. In this article mobility and mortality data for men in the OPCS Longitudinal Study (LS) are used to examine these changes in more detail. It appears that although biases inherent in decennial supplement figures contributed to changes since 1971, they were of insufficient magnitude to explain recent trends. Social class differences among men in the LS since 1981 have proved to be as great as those obtained using traditional methods, once adjustment is made for differences in study design.