Mountain Plot Jigsaw
We identified the need to develop an interactive activity based on our research targeted at young people and adults.
Background: In 2007 we produced a report on inequalities in mortality (available from www.inequalitiesinhealth.com). It was the first post census decennial supplement for Scotland and documented changes in mortality over time, age, gender and causes of death. One key aspect of interest was the contribution of specific causes of death to area-based inequalities, across the age spectrum. Using population and mortality data for men 2001-03, we calculated the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) based on the income domain of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The SII describes the extent of inequalities within any given age group for each cause. This measure is the difference in mortality rates between the notionally most and least deprived areas obtained by fitting a regression line through the mortality rates in all five quintiles. This difference is divided by the overall mortality for that age group to give the SII. The maximum value this can take is 2. These SIIs are plotted for each age group and cause to give a mountain plot. The mountain plot displays the contribution of different causes of death to inequalities across all ages of life. The height of the bands at each age indicates the extent to which inequalities in all cause mortality are attributable to the individual causes. The area of each cause indicates the extent to which overall inequality is attributable to that cause.
We developed the mountain plot as a jigsaw in 2013 with the aim of communicating key findings from our report and engaging people in discussions around inequalities in mortality. In order to complete the jigsaw people need to think about the different causes of death, the different causes that occur at each age, and what inequalities mean. They then need to think about which causes of death make the most contribution to inequalities at each age.