Long-term changes in sickness and health: further evidence from the Hampshire Friendly Society

Harris, Bernard, Gorsky, Martin, Guntupalli, Aravinda Meera and Hinde, Andrew (2012) Long-term changes in sickness and health: further evidence from the Hampshire Friendly Society. The Economic History Review, 65, (2), 719-745. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00607.x).


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This article presents new evidence on long-term trends in sickness rates in England and Wales using data from the Hampshire Friendly Society. In previous work,Edwards, Gorsky, Harris, and Hinde argued that this Society contained a uniquely detailed set of records for the study of individual sickness histories. However, their initial findings were based on the records of a relatively small number of men who joined the Society at different points in time between 1871 and 1912. The current article draws on a much larger body of evidence, based on the records of over 5,500 men who joined between 1824 and 1939. It examines trends in the seasonality of sickness episodes, changes in the relationship between sickness and age, and cause-specific sickness rates.The results indicate that there was little change in age-specific morbidity rates over time, but morbidity did increase with age, mainly because older men remained off work for longer, even when they succumbed to the same conditions as men in younger age groups.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00607.x
ISSNs: 0013-0117 (print)
1468-0289 (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology & Social Policy
ePrint ID: 180797
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2012Published
11 July 2011Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 09:03
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:35
The health and morbidity of friendly society members in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-062-23-0324)
Led by: Bernard Jonathan Harris
1 May 2007 to 30 April 2009
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/180797

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