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More emergencies in poorer areas

A new report has revealed that children from the poorest areas of the UK are much more likely to suffer a violent assault needing an emergency hospital admission than those from the richest areas.

Emergency hospital admissions in England between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2006 were examined by the Centre for Public Health in Liverpool and the North West Public Health Observatory. The results showed that violence is far more likely to affect young males living in deprived areas.

The strong link between deprivation and violence is adding to pressure on health services, the report’s authors said. Senior author Professor Mark Bellis called for early intervention measures to prevent abusive children turning into violent adults and said health services could play a key role in the prevention of future offending.

“The first thing to note is that the link between deprivation and violence is established so early on,” Professor Bellis said. “We know violence works in cycles. People who are exposed to violence in youth are much more likely to be perpetrators of violence and victims of violence later on in life.”

Between 2002 and 2006 the number of children who were taken to hospital after an assault rose by a fifth, or a quarter in the most deprived areas, the report, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found.

Copyright PA Business 2008

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health