Sunday, May 24, 2020

A childhood in care means you are twice as likely to die earlier

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

There is a worrying story in today's Observer, though I can't find anything online about the study it is reporting:
People who spent time in care as children are almost twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did not, stark new research reveals. 
Researchers at University College London tracked more than 350,000 people using official government data between 1971 and 2013. They found that the likelihood of dying earlier among those who had been in care increased over time, contrary to the general population which, during the same period, experienced a decline in mortality risk. 
The team at the UCL’s institute of epidemiology and healthcare said the findings were “shocking” and called for a government response into why inequalities appeared to be widening. 
Throughout the 42-year period, they found that adults who spent time as children in the care system were 70% more likely to die prematurely than those who did not.
However, within the more recent cohorts, the chances of dying early had increased to “more like twofold”. 
Researchers believe that the impact of austerity may have worsened the situation since December 2013, the last date for which “all-cause mortality data” was available.
It is also worth asking whether the increasing move to having residential care for children provided by commercial companies has contributed to this trend.

In most sectors the idea that strong regulators will force companies to curb their profits and provide better services has turned out to be a fantasy.

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