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By Michael Alderson (auth.)

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The important point about collation studies is that the two sets of data being brought together must both relate to the same population; comparisons can be made within a country, for example, looking at the distribution of mortality and occupation by locality. Other comparisons may be between countries contrasting the differences in the two variates (mortality and environmental index) for a range of countries. Another approach takes the same geographical population, and then examines the relative change in the two indices over time.

2 CoHation Morris and his colleagues (1961, 1962) examined the mortality data for eighty-three county boroughs of England and Wales. Specific causes of THE USE OF MORTALITY STATISTICS 27 death as well as total deaths were studied for middle-aged men and women in relation to contemporary estimates of total hardness and calcium content of local drinking water. At the same time an intensive search was made of social and other environmental factors to see if these confounding factors could explain the highly significant negative association between water hardness and cardiovascular mortality.

Is most suitable as the general technique. 2 is known as indirect standardisation. R. 2 three sets of data were used: (1) the number of men in the occupational group (obtained from the census), (2) the number of observed deaths in the occupation (a count of the deaths in the period 1959-63, where the occupation was coded to the particular category of interest), and (3) the annual age-specific death-rates for all men in England and Wales (obtained from the national mortality statistics) . Providing equivalent data are available, the process of standardisation can be applied to other factors affecting mortality, or to other measures of outcome, and this is perhaps best explained by presenting specific examples.

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