It was good to see the prominent and helpful coverage you gave to the issue of deprivation and ill health in Scotland, based around our recent publication ('Poor health', News Focus, 22 October).

However, some points mentioned should be clarified.

Investigations and surgery following heart attack were in fact more frequently carried out in men over 65 from more affluent areas, although the numbers were quite small.

Scots under 65 from deprived areas are about twice as likely to be admitted to hospital with heart attacks as those from less deprived areas.

Yet women under 65 from the most affluent areas are about 1.5-twice as likely to undergo angiography or coronary artery bypass graft as those from most deprived areas.

We found no difference among men under 65 from different areas. Men over 65 from the most affluent areas are about twice as likely to undergo these procedures as those from most deprived areas. In this case we found no difference among women over 65 from different areas.

The difference is not as high as three for any of these examples in our publication.

Your article gives the impression that the findings apply to all age groups in men and in women, which is not the case.

The survival figures mentioned in your article in fact apply only to survival from breast cancer.

Gordon McLaren

Senior registrar in public health medicine

Fife health board

Marion Bain

Consultant in public health medicine

ISD Scotland