Kick-off of the ERC Project Regional Disparities in Cause-Specific Mortality in Europe (REDIM)
Starting in August 2020, Pavel Grigoriev, a research group leader at the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), is steering a new five-year European Research Council (ERC) project entitled “Regional Disparities in Cause-Specific Mortality in Europe: The role of local context and national health policies” (REDIM).
How does the interplay between local context and national health policies shape the observed regional patterns of cause-specific mortality? To what extent are spatial divides in cause-specific mortality, so-called health borders, following national borders? Those are the central research questions tackled by REDIM through conducting a large-scale systematic investigation of persistent and emerging spatial disparities in cause-specific mortality across European countries. The project has three inter-related objectives:
1) Measuring spatial disparities in cause-specific mortality and assessing the degree of convergence/divergence in mortality occurring across subnational entities of European countries.
2) Interpreting the observed patterns and trends by linking mortality data to contextual variables and national health policies.
3) Identifying evidence-based strategies and interventions to reduce regional disparities in mortality.
Fulfilling the last objective represents the main motivation of the project. It is highly relevant to one of the fundamental goals of the European Spatial Development Perspective, which is the achievement of economic and social cohesion in all the regions of the European Union. The research agenda of REDIM is also very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, which seems to spread unevenly across and within and European countries. Although the current pandemic could not be foreseen at the time of the grant application, the impact of COVID-19 on spatial mortality patterns is now in the focus of the REDIM project.