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The Grim Reaper's road map: An atlas of mortality in Britain

by Mary Shaw, Bethan Thomas, George Davey Smith and Daniel Dorling. Published by The Policy Press on 20 October, 2008

The Grim Reaper's road map cover

Bethan and Danny, together with Mary Shaw and George Davey Smith from the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol , have created this impressive atlas of death in Britain .

The Grim Reaper's road map analyses over 14 million deaths over the 24 year period 1981-2004 in Britain . It gives a comprehensive overview of the geographical pattern of mortality in Britain and features:

  • The most common causes of death at different ages
  • 10 groups of death mapped - all deaths, and deaths from cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory, infections, mental disorder, transport, suicide or undetermined, homicide and external causes.
  • 99 separate causes of death mapped, including individual cancers, suicides, assault by firearms, multiple sclerosis, pneumonia, hypothermia, falls, and Parkinson's disease
  • Each map is accompanied by a detailed description and brief geographical analysis, together with the number of people who have died from that cause, the average age of death and ratio of male to female deaths

The Grim Reaper's road map is essential reading for academics and students of social medicine, sociology of health and illness, and epidemiology. It will also be valuable for anyone who wants a better understanding of patterns of mortality within Britain , including medical and healthcare practitioners, policy makers and researchers.

  • Excel spreadsheet of the average age of death for males, females and all people, and the SMR of all deaths for each neighbourhood, arranged by county or local area.