Stuart, Kenneth; Soulsby, E J L
This paper summarizes four UK reviews of socially stratified health inequalities that were undertaken during the past five decades. It describes the background of misplaced optimism and false hopes which characterized the UK's own record of health inequalities; the broken promises on debt cancellations which was the experience of developing countries. It describes why the UK's past leadership record in international health provides grounds for optimism for the future and for benefits for both developed and developing countries through the adoption of more collaborative approaches to global health than have characterized international relationships in the past. It recalls the enthusiasm generated in the UK, and internationally, by the establishment of the Global Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. It promotes the perception of health both as a global public good and as a developmental issue and why a focus on poverty is essential to the address of global health issues. It sees the designing of appropriate strategies and partnerships towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as an important first step for achieving successful address to global public health issues.
Although the health sciences have investigated economic and social inequalities in morbidity and mortality for hundreds of years, health inequalities persist and are, by some measures, increasing. This is not simply a situation in which the knowledge exists but is not implemented. Rather, science in general and epidemiology in particular have focused on quantifying the effects of specific agents considered in isolation. This approach is powerful, but, in the absence of ecological concepts that connect parts and wholes, contributes to maintaining health inequalities. By joining movements for human rights and social justice, health scientists can identify research questions that are relevant to public health, develop methods that are appropriate to answering those questions, and contribute to efforts to reduce health inequalities.
The recent LGBTQ+ history exhibition Speak Out London, Diversity City presented a fantastic collection of stories, documents and photographs from LGBTQ+ Londoners. It also provided a reminder of how far we have come in reducing stigma, prejudice and discrimination.
In developing countries, there are no high quality data to support decision-making and governance due to inadequateinformation collection and transmission processes. Our project WawaRed-Peru: “Reducing health inequities andimproving maternal health by improving health information systems” aims to improve maternal health processes andindicators through the implementation of interoperability standards for maternal health information systems in order fordecision makers to have timely, high quali...
Sampson, Uchechukwu K A; Kaplan, Robert M; Cooper, Richard S; Diez Roux, Ana V; Marks, James S; Engelgau, Michael M; Peprah, Emmanuel; Mishoe, Helena; Boulware, L Ebony; Felix, Kaytura L; Califf, Robert M; Flack, John M; Cooper, Lisa A; Gracia, J Nadine; Henderson, Jeffrey A; Davidson, Karina W; Krishnan, Jerry A; Lewis, Tené T; Sanchez, Eduardo; Luban, Naomi L; Vaccarino, Viola; Wong, Winston F; Wright, Jackson T; Meyers, David; Ogedegbe, Olugbenga G; Presley-Cantrell, Letitia; Chambers, David A; Belis, Deshirée; Bennett, Glen C; Boyington, Josephine E; Creazzo, Tony L; de Jesus, Janet M; Krishnamurti, Chitra; Lowden, Mia R; Punturieri, Antonello; Shero, Susan T; Young, Neal S; Zou, Shimian; Mensah, George A
The National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a Think Tank meeting to obtain insight and recommendations regarding the objectives and design of the next generation of research aimed at reducing health inequities in the United States. The panel recommended several specific actions, including: 1) embrace broad and inclusive research themes; 2) develop research platforms that optimize the ability to conduct informative and innovative research, and promote systems science approaches; 3) develop networks of collaborators and stakeholders, and launch transformative studies that can serve as benchmarks; 4) optimize the use of new data sources, platforms, and natural experiments; and 5) develop unique transdisciplinary training programs to build research capacity. Confronting health inequities will require engaging multiple disciplines and sectors (including communities), using systems science, and intervening through combinations of individual, family, provider, health system, and community-targeted approaches. Details of the panel's remarks and recommendations are provided in this report.
Hayes Michael V
Full Text Available Abstract Background The 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion coincided with a preponderance of research, worldwide, on the social determinants of health and health inequities. Despite the establishment of a 'health inequities knowledge base', the precise roles for municipal governments in reducing health inequities at the local level remain poorly defined. The objective of this study was to monitor thematic trends in this knowledge base over time, and to track scholarly prescriptions for municipal government intervention on local health inequities. Methods Using meta-narrative mapping, four bodies of scholarly literature - 'health promotion', 'Healthy Cities', 'population health' and 'urban health' - that have made substantial contributions to the health inequities knowledge base were analyzed over the 1986-2006 timeframe. Article abstracts were retrieved from the four literature bodies using three electronic databases (PubMed, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science, and coded for bibliographic characteristics, article themes and determinants of health profiles, and prescriptions for municipal government interventions on health inequities. Results 1004 journal abstracts pertaining to health inequities were analyzed. The overall quantity of abstracts increased considerably over the 20 year timeframe, and emerged primarily from the 'health promotion' and 'population health' literatures. 'Healthy lifestyles' and 'healthcare' were the most commonly emphasized themes in the abstracts. Only 17% of the abstracts articulated prescriptions for municipal government interventions on local health inequities. Such interventions included public health campaigns, partnering with other governments and non-governmental organizations for health interventions, and delivering effectively on existing responsibilities to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities. Abstracts originating from Europe, and from the 'Healthy Cities' and 'urban health' literatures
Social investment policy has become a central response to the demographic and economic challenges facing European welfare states. This focus on investment in human capabilities and their efficient use is, however, challenged by health inequalities where education, health and employment...... are increasingly linked. This paper outlines the main principles of social investment policies (learning, activation and protection) and links them to a conceptual model of health inequalities and the policy entry-points tackling them by addressing the processes of social stratification, differential exposure...... investments in health so as to enable social investments to tackle the health divide....
Social investment policy has become a central response to the demographic and economic challenges facing European welfare states. This focus on investment in human capabilities and their efficient use is, however, challenged by health inequalities where education, health and employment...... are increasingly linked. This paper outlines the main principles of social investment policies (learning, activation and protection) and links them to a conceptual model of health inequalities and the policy entry-points tackling them by addressing the processes of social stratification, differential exposure...... investments in health so as to enable social investments to tackle the health divide....
Michel, Jean-Pierre; Herrmann, François; Zekry, Dina
Analysis of prospective data collected between 1984 and 2008 by the CERN medical team (European Centre of Nuclear Research, Geneva) concerning 2040 former employees who were retired or had died stimulated our interest on the impact of inequalities in socioeconomic conditions, employment, lifestyle and classical risk factors on health and life expectancy. Such inequalities explain differences in life expectancy, potentially reaching several decades, between rich and poor countries (France vs Swaziland), but also within a given country (USA), a given city (Glasgow) or even a given enterprise (CERN) where all employees have the same level of healthcare insurance and access to treatment. Classical cardiovascular and neurovascular risk factors (smoking, arterial hypertension and lipid disorders) interact with socioeconomic status, intelligence, education, emotions and job responsibility/complexity, precipitating or preventing cardiovascular events. The same is true of dementia, for which midlife risk factors (obesity, arterial hypertension and hypercholesterolemia) should be considered in the psychosocioeconomic context, which influences cognitive reserves and thus affects the risk and severity of dementia in old age. Thus, in addition to lifestyle and classical risk factors, socioeconomic status appears as a major health determinant, by imposing behaviors and habits and by determining access to healthcare.
This commentary focuses on the notion of "what works" to reduce health inequalities. It begins by noting the need for and presence of a wide range of methodologies and approaches internationally. It then argues that it is useful to map out these contributions and those in the present Supplement against a set of principles (Macintyre, 2007) to guide the selection and implementation of public health interventions explicitly aiming to reduce health inequalities. The chosen principles derive largely from efforts to reduce steep and persistent Scottish health inequalities by social class. The commentary summarizes Macintyre's analysis of the main characteristics of public health interventions. It then notes that the present Supplement provides clear examples of population-health interventions and their health impacts that are inequality-reducing. The suggested approach and principles align with calls for the use of structural changes in the environment, early-life interventions, reductions in preventive-care barriers, and a harm-reduction philosophy. The commentary concludes that there remains much to learn and to do in order for public health intervention research to clearly demonstrate how to effectively reduce health inequalities in a lasting manner.
Abel, Thomas; Frohlich, Katherine L
While empirical evidence continues to show that low socio-economic position is associated with less likely chances of being in good health, our understanding of why this is so remains less than clear. In this paper we examine the theoretical foundations for a structure-agency approach to the reduction of social inequalities in health. We use Max Weber's work on lifestyles to provide the explanation for the dualism between life chances (structure) and choice-based life conduct (agency). For explaining how the unequal distribution of material and non-material resources leads to the reproduction of unequal life chances and limitations of choice in contemporary societies, we apply Pierre Bourdieu's theory on capital interaction and habitus. We find, however, that Bourdieu's habitus concept is insufficient with regard to the role of agency for structural change and therefore does not readily provide for a theoretically supported move from sociological explanation to public health action. We therefore suggest Amartya Sen's capability approach as a useful link between capital interaction theory and action to reduce social inequalities in health. This link allows for the consideration of structural conditions as well as an active role for individuals as agents in reducing these inequalities. We suggest that people's capabilities to be active for their health be considered as a key concept in public health practice to reduce health inequalities. Examples provided from an ongoing health promotion project in Germany link our theoretical perspective to a practical experience.
Carey, Gemma; Crammond, Brad; Malbon, Eleanor; Carey, Nic
Inequalities in the social determinants of health (SDH), which drive avoidable health disparities between different individuals or groups, is a major concern for a number of international organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite this, the pathways to changing inequalities in the SDH remain elusive. The methodologies and concepts within system science are now viewed as important domains of knowledge, ideas and skills for tackling issues of inequality, which are increasingly understood as emergent properties of complex systems. In this paper, we introduce and expand the concept of adaptive policies to reduce inequalities in the distribution of the SDH. The concept of adaptive policy for health equity was developed through reviewing the literature on learning and adaptive policies. Using a series of illustrative examples from education and poverty alleviation, which have their basis in real world policies, we demonstrate how an adaptive policy approach is more suited to the management of the emergent properties of inequalities in the SDH than traditional policy approaches. This is because they are better placed to handle future uncertainties. Our intention is that these examples are illustrative, rather than prescriptive, and serve to create a conversation regarding appropriate adaptive policies for progressing policy action on the SDH.
Full Text Available Inequalities in the social determinants of health (SDH, which drive avoidable health disparities between different individuals or groups, is a major concern for a number of international organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO. Despite this, the pathways to changing inequalities in the SDH remain elusive. The methodologies and concepts within system science are now viewed as important domains of knowledge, ideas and skills for tackling issues of inequality, which are increasingly understood as emergent properties of complex systems. In this paper, we introduce and expand the concept of adaptive policies to reduce inequalities in the distribution of the SDH. The concept of adaptive policy for health equity was developed through reviewing the literature on learning and adaptive policies. Using a series of illustrative examples from education and poverty alleviation, which have their basis in real world policies, we demonstrate how an adaptive policy approach is more suited to the management of the emergent properties of inequalities in the SDH than traditional policy approaches. This is because they are better placed to handle future uncertainties. Our intention is that these examples are illustrative, rather than prescriptive, and serve to create a conversation regarding appropriate adaptive policies for progressing policy action on the SDH.
Full Text Available Income related health inequalities have been estimated for various groups of individuals at local, state, or national levels. Almost all of theses estimates are based on individual data from sample surveys. Lack of consistent individual data worldwide has prevented estimates of international income related health inequalities. This paper uses the (population weighted aggregate data available from many countries around the world to estimate worldwide income related health inequalities. Since the intra-country inequalities are subdued by the aggregate nature of the data, the estimates would be those of the inter-country or international health inequalities. As well, the study estimates the contribution of major socioeconomic variables to the overall health inequalities. The findings of the study strongly support the existence of worldwide income related health inequalities that favor the higher income countries. Decompositions of health inequalities identify inequalities in both the level and distribution of income as the main source of health inequality along with inequalities in education and degree of urbanization as other contributing determinants. Since income related health inequalities are preventable, policies to reduce the income gaps between the poor and rich nations could greatly improve the health of hundreds of millions of people and promote global justice. Keywords: global, income, health inequality, socioeconomic determinants of health
The most socially isolated mothers may feel marginalised by our health services so that they feel excluded and not willing to seek support. They require different approaches to help them feel empowered and to increase their self-esteem. We have to learn how health services can better improve...
Pauly, Bernadette Bernie; MacDonald, Marjorie; Hancock, Trevor; Martin, Wanda; Perkin, Kathleen
Within Canada, many public health leaders have long identified the importance of improving the health of all Canadians especially those who face social and economic disadvantages. Future improvements in population health will be achieved by promoting health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Many Canadian documents, endorsed by government and public health leaders, describe commitments to improving overall health and promoting health equity. Public health has an important role to play in strengthening action on the social determinants and promoting health equity. Currently, public health services in British Columbia are being reorganized and there is a unique opportunity to study the application of an equity lens in public health and the contribution of public health to reducing health inequities. Where applicable, we have chosen mental health promotion, prevention of mental disorders and harms of substance use as exemplars within which to examine specific application of an equity lens. This research protocol is informed by three theoretical perspectives: complex adaptive systems, critical social justice, and intersectionality. In this program of research, there are four inter-related research projects with an emphasis on both integrated and end of grant knowledge translation. Within an overarching collaborative and participatory approach to research, we use a multiple comparative case study research design and are incorporating multiple methods such as discourse analysis, situational analysis, social network analysis, concept mapping and grounded theory. An important aim of this work is to help ensure a strong public health system that supports public health providers to have the knowledge, skills, tools and resources to undertake the promotion of health equity. This research will contribute to increasing the effectiveness and contributions of public health in reducing unfair and inequitable differences in health among population groups
Diderichsen, Finn; Andersen, Ingelise; Manual, Celie;
The review ”Health inequality – determinants and policies” identifies key-areas to be addressed with the aim to reduce the social inequality in health. The general life expectancy has steadily been increasing, but the data reveals marked social inequalities in health as well as life expectancy....... The review seeks to identify the causes of this social inequality. The analysis finds 12 areas of great importance for the inequality in health. This is i.e. early child development, schooling and education, the health behavior of the population, and the role of the health system. Within each of the 12 areas...
Health inequities are determined by multiple factors within the health sector and beyond. While gaps in social health protection coverage and effective access to health care are among the most prominent causes of health inequities, social and economic inequalities existing beyond the health sector contribute greatly to barriers to access affordable and acceptable health care. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Este trabajo revisa las políticas para disminuir las desigualdades sociales en salud y presenta algunos ejemplos. Previamente repasa el modelo sobre los determinantes sociales de las desigualdades en salud. El modelo descrito sobre los determinantes de las desigualdades en salud es el utilizado por la Comisión de los Determinantes Sociales de la Salud de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, que contiene tres elementos principales: el contexto socioeconómico y político, la posición socioeconómica y los factores intermediarios. Se describen 10 principios que cabe tener en cuenta para poner en marcha intervenciones dirigidas a reducir las desigualdades en salud, y se describen distintas políticas según «el punto de entrada» considerado en el modelo conceptual. Finalmente, se ofrecen dos ejemplos: la política de salud pública de Suecia y el programa «Barrio Adentro» de Venezuela.This paper reviews policies to reduce social inequalities in health and presents some examples. Previously it presents the model on social determinants of health inequalities. The model described on the determinants of health inequalities is used by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health of the World Health Organisation that contains three main elements: the socio-economic and political context, socioeconomic status and intermediary factors. It describes 10 principles to keep in mind to launch interventions aimed at reducing inequalities in health and describes various policies depending on different «entry points» considered in the conceptual model. Finally we present two examples: The Public Health Policy of Sweden and the programme «Barrio Adentro» in Venezuela.
Diderichsen, Finn; Scheele, Christian Elling; Little, Ingvild Gundersen
issues are all relevant here. Can we identify obstacles to and means of promoting the involvement of local policymakers within education, social care, labourmarket, environment etc. in a coordinated effort to tackle health inequalities in a Scandinavian context? The present report is the result......The Scandinavian countries and their welfare policies have long been known for their ability to reduce income inequality while boosting economic growth. Recent research from OECD has indicated that the Scandinavian countries are indeed examples of a more general positive relationship between...... equality and growth (64). Health equity has been anexplicit political goal in Scandinavia for decades. Nevertheless, in the health domain, average improvement has not been followed by reduced inequality – at least not between socioeconomic groups. It has in other words turned out to be a challenge...
Daponte, Antonio; Bernal, Mariola; Bolívar, Julia; Mateo, Inmaculada; Salmi, Louis-Rachid; Barsanti, Sara; Berghmans, Luc; Piznal, Ewelina; Bourgueil, Yann; Marquez, Soledad; González, Ingrid; Carriazo, Ana; Maros-Szabo, Zsuzsanna; Ménival, Solange
The current social and political context is generating socio-economic inequalities between and within countries, causing and widening health inequalities. The development and implementation of interventions in primary health care (PHC) settings seem unavoidable. Attempts have been made to draw up adequate criteria to guide and evaluate interventions but none for the specific case of PHC. This methodological article aims to contribute to this field by developing and testing a set of criteria for guiding and evaluating real-life interventions to reduce health inequalities in PHC settings in European regions. A literature review, nominal group technique, survey and evaluation template were used to design and test a set of criteria. The questionnaire was answered by professionals in charge of 46 interventions carried out in 12 European countries, and collected detailed information about each intervention. Third-party experts scored the interventions using the set of evaluation criteria proposed. Nine criteria to guide and evaluate interventions were proposed: relevance, appropriateness, applicability, innovation, quality assurance, adequacy of resources, effectiveness in the process, effectiveness in results and mainstreaming. A working definition was drawn up for each one. These criteria were then used to evaluate the interventions identified. The set of criteria drawn up to guide the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions to reduce health inequalities in PHC will be a useful instrument to be applied to interventions under development for culturally, politically and socio-economically diverse PHC contexts throughout Europe. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
Vander Ploeg, Kerry A; Maximova, Katerina; McGavock, Jonathan; Davis, Wendy; Veugelers, Paul
Little is known about the effectiveness of school-based health promotion on physical activity inequalities among children from low-income areas. This study compared the two-year change in physical activity among 10-11 year-old children attending schools with and without health promotion programs by activity level, body weight status, and socioeconomic backgrounds to assess whether health promotion programs reduce or exacerbate health inequalities. This was a quasi-experimental trial of a Comprehensive School Health (CSH) program implemented in schools located in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In the spring of 2009 and 2011, pedometer (7 full days) and demographic data were collected from cross-sectional samples of grade five children from 10 intervention and 20 comparison schools. Socioeconomic status was determined from parent self-report. Low-active, active, and high-active children were defined according to step-count tertiles. Multilevel linear regression methods adjusted for potential confounders were used to assess the relative inequity in physical activity and were compared between groups and over-time. In 2009, a greater proportion of students in the intervention schools were overweight (38% vs. 31% p = 0.03) and were less active (10,827 vs. 12,265 steps/day p active students, from -13.4% to 0% among active students, and from -15.1% to -2.7% among high-active students. The relative difference between intervention and comparison schools reduced from -11.1% to -1.6% among normal weight students, from -16.8% to -1.4% among overweight students, and was balanced across socioeconomic subgroups. These findings demonstrate that CSH programs implemented in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods reduced inequalities in physical activity. Investments in school-based health promotion are a viable, promising, and important approach to improve physical activity and prevent childhood obesity, and may also
Crowcroft Natasha S
Full Text Available Abstract Background The global and within-country epidemiology of cervical cancer exemplifies health inequity. Public health programs may reduce absolute risk but increase inequity; inequity may be further compounded by screening programs. In this context, we aimed to explore what the impact of human papillomavirus (HPV vaccine might have on health equity allowing for uncertainty surrounding the long-term effect of HPV vaccination programs. Methods A simple static multi-way sensitivity analysis was carried out to compare the relative risk, comparing after to before implementation of a vaccination program, of infections which would cause invasive cervical cancer if neither prevented nor detected, using plausible ranges of vaccine effectiveness, vaccination coverage, screening sensitivity, screening uptake and changes in uptake. Results We considered a total number of 3,793,902 scenarios. In 63.9% of scenarios considered, vaccination would lead to a better outcome for a population or subgroup with that combination of parameters. Regardless of vaccine effectiveness and coverage, most simulations led to lower rates of disease. Conclusions If vaccination coverage and screening uptake are high, then communities are always better off with a vaccination program. The findings highlight the importance of achieving and maintaining high immunization coverage and screening uptake in high risk groups in the interest of health equity.
Martínez Valle, Adolfo; Terrazas, Paulina; Alvarez, Fernando
To study lines of action implemented in Mexico by the health sector from 2007 to 2012 in order to combat health inequities by targeting social determinants. To contribute to better understanding and knowledge of how health system inequalities in the Region of the Americas can be reduced. To formulate recommendations for designing a future public policy agenda to address the social determinants associated with health inequities in Mexico. The policies and programs established in the National Health Program (PRONASA) 2007 - 2012 were reviewed, and those that met four criteria were selected: i) they affected the social determinants of health (SDH); ii) they developed specific lines of action aimed at reducing health inequities; iii) they set concrete goals; and iv) they had been evaluated to determine whether those goals had been met. Three programs were selected: Seguro Popular, Programa de Desarrollo Humano Oportunidades (PDHO), and Caravanas de la Salud. Once each program's specific lines of action targeting SDH had been identified, the monitoring and evaluation indicators established in PRONASA 2007 - 2012, along with other available evaluations and empirical evidence, were used to measure the extent to which the goals were met. The findings showed that Seguro Popular had had a positive impact in terms of the financial protection of lower-income households. Moreover, the reduction in the gap between workers covered by the social security system and those who were not was more evident. By reducing poverty among its beneficiaries, the PDHO also managed to reduce health inequities. The indicators for Caravanas de la Salud, on the other hand, did not show statistically significant differences between the control localities and the localities covered by the program, except in the case of Pap tests. These findings have important public policy implications for designing an agenda that promotes continued targeting of SDH and heightening its impact in terms of reducing
A.A. Vos (Amber)
markdownabstractAbstract Promotion of healthy pregnancies has gained high priority in the Netherlands because of the relatively unfavorable perinatal outcomes compared to surrounding countries which was confirmed by two consecutive European reports on perinatal health. Additionally, large inequal
Smith, Brendan T; Smith, Peter M; Harper, Sam; Manuel, Douglas G; Mustard, Cameron A
Reducing health inequalities has become a major public health priority internationally. However, how best to achieve this goal is not well understood. Population health intervention research has the potential to address some of this knowledge gap. This review argues that simulation studies can produce unique evidence to build the population health intervention research evidence base on reducing social inequalities in health. To this effect, the advantages of using simulation models over other population health intervention research methods are discussed. Key questions regarding the potential challenges of developing simulation models to investigate population health intervention research on reducing social inequalities in health and the types of population health intervention research questions that can be answered using this methodology are reviewed. We use the example of social inequalities in coronary heart disease to illustrate how simulation models can elucidate the effectiveness of a number of 'what-if' counterfactual population health interventions on reducing social inequalities in coronary heart disease. Simulation models are a flexible, cost-effective, evidence-based research method with the capacity to inform public health policy-makers regarding the implementation of population health interventions to reduce social inequalities in health.
Full Text Available Health inequality is met everywhere in the world, including in countries with a high level of economic development, or those with strong social protection systems. In this paper I analyzed certain methods to measure health inequalities between population groups and also I presented some empirical results regarding health disparities between European Union countries. My research is focussed on three health areas: health status of population, access to health care services and resource allocation and population spending on health care.
trabajan en intervenciones dirigidas prioritariamente a grupos excluidos.The objective of this study is to compile, describe and assess interventions to reduce health inequalities developed in Spain by administrations, NGO or other entities. The search was organized in three settings: governmental strategies, interventions, and among the latter, those particularly addressing excluded social groups. Administration actions and policies were investigated through formal surveys addressed to regional governments (17 regions and 2 cities. Production of information by gender and socio-economic level (SEL, plans and programs, as well as interventions was explored. Key informants were consulted and scientific literature was reviewed in order to identify interventions. Médicos del Mundo and Cáritas, two of the main national NGO were consulted. Fourteen administrations responded. In general, health information includes sex analysis, few administrations analyse by gender or SEL and six study inequalities in the general population. Most administrations produce specific information by pathologies (HIV/AIDS... or social groups (women.... They mention intervention experiences applied to territories or vulnerable groups, evaluated through process indicators. In the period 1995-2002, 722 papers on inequalities in Spain have been published. Among them, 28 are interventions and 9 have been evaluated, mainly with quasi-experimental designs. Large NGO, sometimes with public funding, work with excluded populations through outreach programs. Most Spanish health information does not include yet inequalities analysis, although it is growing steadily. Publication of inequalities studies has increased sharply, but intervention publications are rare and evaluated interventions are extremely scarce. Administrations and NGO work in interventions mainly addressed to excluded populations.
Blank, N; Diderichsen, Finn
of the study is to analyse the interaction between socio-economic and personal circumstances in explaining inequalities in health. It is based on a theoretical framework which presupposes that inequalities in health are likely to be explained by a complicated process involving a multitude of factors...
Robertson, Peter J.
Structural explanations of career choice and development are well established. Socioeconomic inequality represents a powerful factor shaping career trajectories and economic outcomes achieved by individuals. However, a robust and growing body of evidence demonstrates a strong link between socioeconomic inequality and health outcomes. Work is a key…
Bambra Clare L
Full Text Available Abstract Background There is growing evidence of the impact of overweight and obesity on short- and long-term functioning, health and well-being. Internationally, childhood obesity rates continue to rise in some countries (for example, Mexico, India, China and Canada, although there is emerging evidence of a slowing of this increase or a plateauing in some age groups. In most European countries, the United States and Australia, however, socioeconomic inequalities in relation to obesity and risk factors for obesity are widening. Addressing inequalities in obesity, therefore, has a very high profile on the public health and health services agendas. However, there is a lack of accessible policy-ready evidence on what works in terms of interventions to reduce inequalities in obesity. Methods and design This article describes the protocol for a National Health Service Trust (NHS National Institute for Health Research-funded systematic review of public health interventions at the individual, community and societal levels which might reduce socioeconomic inequalities in relation to obesity amongst children ages 0 to 18 years. The studies will be selected only if (1 they included a primary outcome that is a proxy for body fatness and (2 examined differential effects with regard to socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation, social class, deprivation and poverty or the intervention was targeted specifically at disadvantaged groups (for example, children of the unemployed, lone parents, low income and so on or at people who live in deprived areas. A rigorous and inclusive international literature search will be conducted for randomised and nonrandomised controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies (with and/or without control groups and prospective repeat cross-sectional studies (with and/or without control groups. The following electronic databases will be searched: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation
Freudenberg, Nicholas; Franzosa, Emily; Chisholm, Janice; Libman, Kimberly
Growing evidence shows that unequal distribution of wealth and power across race, class, and gender produces the differences in living conditions that are "upstream" drivers of health inequalities. Health educators and other public health professionals, however, still develop interventions that focus mainly on "downstream"…
Rispel, Laetitia C; de Sousa, César A D Palha; Molomo, Boitumelo G
implementation capacity problems. The key messages to sub-Saharan African governments include: health inequalities must be measured; social policies must be carefully designed and effectively implemented addressing the constraints identified; monitoring and evaluation systems need improvement; and participation of the community needs to be encouraged through conducive and enabling environments. There is a need for a strong movement by civil society to address health inequalities and to hold governments accountable for improved health and reduced health inequalities.
Merrick Jessica; Chong Alwin; Parker Eleanor; Roberts-Thomson Kaye; Misan Gary; Spencer John; Broughton John; Lawrence Herenia; Jamieson Lisa
Abstract Background This study seeks to determine if implementing a culturally-appropriate early childhood caries (ECC) intervention reduces dental disease burden and oral health inequalities among Indigenous children living in South Australia, Australia. Methods/Design This paper describes the study protocol for a randomised controlled trial conducted among Indigenous children living in South Australia with an anticipated sample of 400. The ECC intervention consists of four components: (1) p...
Claire de Oliveira
Improving the health of children in low-income families, which is chronically worse than that of richer children, requires well-targeted policy reforms. This report identifies the policies that would, for families across different income groups, best address inequality in the health of children.
Barten, F.J.M.H.; Mitlin, D.; Mulholland, C.; Hardoy, A.; Stern, R.
The social and physical environments have long since been recognized as important determinants of health. People in urban settings are exposed to a variety of health hazards that are interconnected with their health effects. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have underlined the
Barten, F.J.M.H.; Mitlin, D.; Mulholland, C.; Hardoy, A.; Stern, R.
The social and physical environments have long since been recognized as important determinants of health. People in urban settings are exposed to a variety of health hazards that are interconnected with their health effects. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have underlined the multidimensiona
Diderichsen, Finn; Scheele, Christian Elling; Little, Ingvild Gundersen
of this study. It is based on three sources: 1. Interviews with policymakers (administrators and politicians) within healthcare administrations, childhood/education, and labour market administrations from September 2014 to March 2015*. 2. Textual analysis of available policy documents from regions...... of translating small inequalities in wealth into small inequalities in health. Denmark, Norway and Sweden all have legislation that indifferent ways offers local governments key roles in public health. This is partly due to local governments’ responsibility for many policy areas of great relevance to health...... state model, including its health policy, as an area of Nordic collaboration (104). However, realising the principle of health (equity) in all policiesis no simple matter. The national authorities and local government federations in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have therefore initiated various activities...
Full Text Available This paper examines the effects of inequality on the rate of growth of an economy. We assume that it is easier for an individual to achieve a given level of human capiral the higher society's average level of human capiral. Agents with above average human capital find it relatively more costly to acquire additional human capital, while agents with below average human capital find it relatively cheaper to acquire additional human capital. The existence of such an externality implies that even when where is no income inequality agents will behave inefficiently. In order to achieve the optimal growth rate, a lump sum tax must be combined with a subsidy to investment in education. When incomes are heterogenous, we show that income convergence is attained in the long run. We also show that the effect of inequality on the growth rate of an economy depends on the functional form of the externality. When the externality junction is concave, income dispersion reduces the rate of growth. On the other hand, when the externality function is convex, the effect is ambiguous. Does Income Inequality Reduce Growth?
This study addresses the question whether participation of the poor in microfinance contributes to reducing a country’s level of income inequality. Using data from 70 developing countries, we show that higher levels of microfinance participation are indeed associated with a reduction of the income g
This study addresses the question whether participation of the poor in microfinance contributes to reducing a country’s level of income inequality. Using data from 70 developing countries, we show that higher levels of microfinance participation are indeed associated with a reduction of the income
Dybbroe, Betina; Kappel, Nanna
The overall purpose of the research we want to present, is to discuss how social inequality in health can both be maintained and strengthened- and changed through the health system and health efforts. Our contribution provides a view of a special point of intersection in which the health system....... The health system has certain goals, rationalities and conditions for practice based on the medical paradigm, institutional logics, professional cultures and New Public. The health needs of the socially marginalised are, on the other hand, woven into complex social issues in which social and health aspects...... cannot be separated. Their conditions and needs are different and separate from the way the health system perceives of the “average” patient, and this is demonstrated in the encounter between this group of citizens and the health system. We will present short examples of how the health and welfare goals...
Full Text Available Abstract Background According to the last census, Morocco has a population approaching 30 million people. The country has made good progress in the control of preventable childhood diseases but social inequalities and health inequities remain major problems for the third millennium. Despite the progress achieved during the last decade, the country still ranks at the 125th place according to the Human Development Index. This unpleasant position is mainly explained by illiteracy, education and health indicators. Method Our study was based mainly on annual reports and regular publications released by the United Nations (UN, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, World Health Organisation (WHO, The Moroccan Health Ministry and related papers published in international journals. Results and discussion As indicated by the last Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR 2002, AHDR 2003, AHDR 2004 and implicitly confirmed by the "National Initiative for Human Development" (NIHD launched in May 2005 by the King of Morocco, many districts and shanty towns, urban or peri-urban, and a multitude of rural communes live in situations characterized by difficult access to basic social services of which education and health are examples. Conclusion Recent evidence showed that improved health is more than a consequence of development. It is a central input into economic and social development and poverty reduction. Serious initiatives for human development should consider the reduction of social inequalities and health inequities as a first priority. Otherwise, the eventual development achieved cannot be sustained.
Full Text Available This issue of the Norwegian Journal of Epidemiology is based on the research conference Health Inequalities and the Welfare State at the Soria Moria Conference Center in Oslo, Norway, October 10-11 2006. The main purpose of the conference was to support, stimulate, disseminate and contribute to research in Norway on social inequalities in health. Nine papers are included in this issue, in addition to this introduction. One paper is based on one of the keynote lectures, while the other eight papers demonstrate some of the themes and approaches in current Norwegian research on socioeconomic health inequalities. Most of the articles have been authored by researchers who are working on a doctoral thesis or have recently attained their doctoral degree. The papers cluster into four groups. One cluster has a common denominator in intervention and policies to reduce health inequalities. A second focuses on marginalised groups, whereas a third cluster draws attention to the possible impact of the social context on individual health. The last paper addresses health inequalities among adolescents. The main focus of the Soria Moria conference was how and why social health inequalities continue to exist in the Norwegian society with a long tradition of a social democratic welfare model. We are pleased to note that health inequalities are becoming a prioritised health policy issue in Norway, and hope this issue of the Norwegian Journal of Epidemiology will contribute to a sharper focus on monitoring of, research on, and interventions to reduce social inequalities in health.
Full Text Available This issue of the Norwegian Journal of Epidemiology is based on the research conference Health Inequalities and the Welfare State at the Soria Moria Conference Center in Oslo, Norway, October 10-11 2006. The main purpose of the conference was to support, stimulate, disseminate and contribute to research in Norway on social inequalities in health. Nine papers are included in this issue, in addition to this introduction. One paper is based on one of the keynote lectures, while the other eight papers demonstrate some of the themes and approaches in current Norwegian research on socioeconomic health inequalities. Most of the articles have been authored by researchers who are working on a doctoral thesis or have recently attained their doctoral degree. The papers cluster into four groups. One cluster has a common denominator in intervention and policies to reduce health inequalities. A second focuses on marginalised groups, whereas a third cluster draws attention to the possible impact of the social context on individual health. The last paper addresses health inequalities among adolescents. The main focus of the Soria Moria conference was how and why social health inequalities continue to exist in the Norwegian society with a long tradition of a social democratic welfare model. We are pleased to note that health inequalities are becoming a prioritised health policy issue in Norway, and hope this issue of the Norwegian Journal of Epidemiology will contribute to a sharper focus on monitoring of, research on, and interventions to reduce social inequalities in health.
People with disability are subject to inequality in oral health both in terms of prevalence of disease and unmet healthcare needs. Over 18% of the global population is living with moderate to severe functional problems related to disability, and a large proportion of these persons will require Special Care Dentistry at some point in their lifetime. It is estimated that 90% of people requiring Special Care Dentistry should be able to access treatment in a local, primary care setting. Provision of such primary care is only possible through the education and training of dentists. The literature suggests that it is vital for the dental team to develop the necessary skills and gain experience treating people with special needs in order to ensure access to the provision of oral health care. Education in Special Care Dentistry worldwide might be improved by the development of a recognised academic and clinical discipline and by providing international curricula guidelines based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF, WHO). This article aims to discuss the role and value of promoting and harmonising education in Special Care Dentistry as a means of reducing inequalities in oral health.
Dybbroe, Betina; Kappel, Nanna
The overall purpose of the research we want to present, is to discuss how social inequality in health can both be maintained and strengthened- and changed through the health system and health efforts. Our contribution provides a view of a special point of intersection in which the health system...... – as a system and organisation – meets the everyday life perspectives and experiences of socially marginalised people. The group of people in focus are drug users, and they are here regarded from their everyday life, as people who are, in principle, strangers to, and outside the system that they meet...... cannot be separated. Their conditions and needs are different and separate from the way the health system perceives of the “average” patient, and this is demonstrated in the encounter between this group of citizens and the health system. We will present short examples of how the health and welfare goals...
Hassan Almaspoor Khanghah
Full Text Available Background and Objectives : Inequity in health is a universal term which is used for showing current differences, variations and inequalities of people in accessing to health services. The current study aimed to assess the factors influencing health inequalities to present the results to the researchers and health care professionals. Material and Methods : In this review, several databases including PubMed, Proquest, Scopus, Google Scholar search engine, SID and IranDoc were searched within 2000-2014 period. We found 746 articles and refined them step by step according to the aim of the study by reviewing the titles, abstracts and full texts. Finally, 16 articles were selected for further study Results: In the present study, identified determinants in health inequalities were as follows: 1- Economic and income factors 2- Political factors, social and public policy 3- Cultural and social values 4- social and demographic factors 5- Behavioral, psychological and biological factors. Although, other factors like governmental, international, social cohesion, incidents and even the health system itself were involved in health inequalities, but the listed determinants were among the most important determinants in health inequalities in the conducted studies. Conclusion : Given the importance of people's health and inequalities in health, the approach should focus on reducing the inequalities in all policies and development programs and the role of these factors should be taken into consideration by managers and policy-makers
Mackenbach, Johan P; Stirbu, Irina; Roskam, Albert-Jan R;
intervention. The magnitude of inequalities in self-assessed health also varied substantially among countries, but in a different pattern. CONCLUSIONS: We observed variation across Europe in the magnitude of inequalities in health associated with socioeconomic status. These inequalities might be reduced...... by improving educational opportunities, income distribution, health-related behavior, or access to health care....
Sweden is one of Europe's most egalitarian countries. The social inequities in living conditions have been gradually reduced to a level that is more equal than in most countries in Europe. Even if general health development has been positive during recent years, data reviewed here indicate...... that there may be adverse effects for some groups which may increase inequities. This article presents results on inequities in health from the Public Health Report of Sweden 1987 and discusses causal mechanisms and implications for health policy....
Sweden is one of Europe's most egalitarian countries. The social inequities in living conditions have been gradually reduced to a level that is more equal than in most countries in Europe. Even if general health development has been positive during recent years, data reviewed here indicate...... that there may be adverse effects for some groups which may increase inequities. This article presents results on inequities in health from the Public Health Report of Sweden 1987 and discusses causal mechanisms and implications for health policy....
Durand, M.A.; Carpenter, L.; Dolan, H.; Bravo, P.; Mann, M.; Bunn, F.; Elwyn, G.
BACKGROUND: Increasing patient engagement in healthcare has become a health policy priority. However, there has been concern that promoting supported shared decision-making could increase health inequalities. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of SDM interventions on disadvantaged groups and health i
Full Text Available Abstract Background This study seeks to determine if implementing a culturally-appropriate early childhood caries (ECC intervention reduces dental disease burden and oral health inequalities among Indigenous children living in South Australia, Australia. Methods/Design This paper describes the study protocol for a randomised controlled trial conducted among Indigenous children living in South Australia with an anticipated sample of 400. The ECC intervention consists of four components: (1 provision of dental care; (2 fluoride varnish application to the teeth of children; (3 motivational interviewing and (4 anticipatory guidance. Participants are randomly assigned to two intervention groups, immediate (n = 200 or delayed (n = 200. Provision of dental care (1 occurs during pregnancy in the immediate intervention group or when children are 24-months in the delayed intervention group. Interventions (2, (3 and (4 occur when children are 6-, 12- and 18-months in the immediate intervention group or 24-, 30- and 36-months in the delayed intervention group. Hence, all participants receive the ECC intervention, though it is delayed 24 months for participants who are randomised to the control-delayed arm. In both groups, self-reported data will be collected at baseline (pregnancy and when children are 24- and 36-months; and child clinical oral health status will be determined during standardised examinations conducted at 24- and 36-months by two calibrated dental professionals. Discussion Expected outcomes will address whether exposure to a culturally-appropriate ECC intervention is effective in reducing dental disease burden and oral health inequalities among Indigenous children living in South Australia.
Haddad, Slim; Narayana, Delampady; Mohindra, Ks
Inadequate public action in vulnerable communities is a major constraint for the health of poor and marginalized groups in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The south Indian state of Kerala, known for relatively equitable provision of public resources, is no exception to the marginalization of vulnerable communities. In Kerala, women's lives are constrained by gender-based inequalities and certain indigenous groups are marginalized such that their health and welfare lag behind other social groups. The goal of this socially-engaged, action-research initiative was to reduce social inequalities in access to health care in a rural community. Specific objectives were: 1) design and implement a community-based health insurance scheme to reduce financial barriers to health care, 2) strengthen local governance in monitoring and evidence-based decision-making, and 3) develop an evidence base for appropriate health interventions. Health and social inequities have been masked by Kerala's overall progress. Key findings illustrated large inequalities between different social groups. Particularly disadvantaged are lower-caste women and Paniyas (a marginalized indigenous group), for whom inequalities exist across education, employment status, landholdings, and health. The most vulnerable populations are the least likely to receive state support, which has broader implications for the entire country. A community based health solidarity scheme (SNEHA), under the leadership of local women, was developed and implemented yielding some benefits to health equity in the community-although inclusion of the Paniyas has been a challenge. The Canadian-Indian action research team has worked collaboratively for over a decade. An initial focus on surveys and data analysis has transformed into a focus on socially engaged, participatory action research. Adapting to unanticipated external forces, maintaining a strong team in the rural village, retaining human resources capable of analyzing
Full Text Available Abstract Background Inadequate public action in vulnerable communities is a major constraint for the health of poor and marginalized groups in low and middle-income countries (LMICs. The south Indian state of Kerala, known for relatively equitable provision of public resources, is no exception to the marginalization of vulnerable communities. In Kerala, women’s lives are constrained by gender-based inequalities and certain indigenous groups are marginalized such that their health and welfare lag behind other social groups. The research The goal of this socially-engaged, action-research initiative was to reduce social inequalities in access to health care in a rural community. Specific objectives were: 1 design and implement a community-based health insurance scheme to reduce financial barriers to health care, 2 strengthen local governance in monitoring and evidence-based decision-making, and 3 develop an evidence base for appropriate health interventions. Results and outcomes Health and social inequities have been masked by Kerala’s overall progress. Key findings illustrated large inequalities between different social groups. Particularly disadvantaged are lower-caste women and Paniyas (a marginalized indigenous group, for whom inequalities exist across education, employment status, landholdings, and health. The most vulnerable populations are the least likely to receive state support, which has broader implications for the entire country. A community based health solidarity scheme (SNEHA, under the leadership of local women, was developed and implemented yielding some benefits to health equity in the community—although inclusion of the Paniyas has been a challenge. The partnership The Canadian-Indian action research team has worked collaboratively for over a decade. An initial focus on surveys and data analysis has transformed into a focus on socially engaged, participatory action research. Challenges and successes Adapting to
Gupta, Madhu; Bosma, Hans; Angeli, F.; Kaur, Manmeet; Chakrapani, Venkatesan; Rana, Monica; van Schayck, Onno C. P.
A multi-strategy community intervention, known as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), was implemented in India from 2005 to 2012. By improving the availability of and access to better-quality healthcare, the aim was to reduce maternal and child health (MCH) inequalities. This study was planned to
Caiazzo, Antonio; Cardano, Mario; Cois, Ester; Costa, Giuseppe; Marinacci, Chiara; Spadea, Teresa; Vannoni, Francesca; Venturini, Lorenzo
Socioeconomic inequality and its impact on health is a growing concern in the European public health debate. In many countries, the issue is moving away from description towards the identification of the determinants of inequalities and the development of policies explicitly aimed at reducing inequalities in health. In Italy, ten years after the publication of the first report on inequalities in health, this topic is seldom present on the agenda of public policy makers. The purpose of this report is to update the Italian profile of social variation in health and health care in order to stimulate the debate on ways to tackle inequalities in health that are preventable. In the first section of this book, the threefold objective is to describe the principal mechanisms involved in the generation of social inequalities in health (Introduction); to report Italian data on the distribution and magnitude of this phenomenon in the last decade; and to evaluate policies and interventions in both the social (chapter 1.9, Section I) and the health sector (chapter 2.3, Section I), which are potentially useful to reduce health inequalities. It is intended for anyone who is in a position to contribute t o decision-making that will benefit the health of communities. For this reason, chapters are organized by specific determinants of inequalities on which interentions may have an impact. The methodological approach in the second section focuses on the best methods to monitor social inequalities including recommendations on social indicators, sources of information and study models, based on European guidelines revised for the Italian situation. According to data from national and local studies, mortality increases linearly with social disadvantage for a wide range of indicators at both the individual (education, social class, income, quality of housing) and the geographical level (deprivation indexes computed at different levels of aggregation). This positive correlation is evident
Full Text Available Abstract Background In Finland, dental services are provided by a public (PDS and a private sector. In the past, children, young adults and special needs groups were entitled to care and treatment from the public dental services (PDS. A major reform in 2001 – 2002 opened the PDS and extended subsidies for private dental services to all adults. It aimed to increase equity by improving adults' access to oral health care and reducing cost barriers. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of the reform on the utilization of publicly funded and private dental services, numbers and distribution of personnel and costs in 2000 and in 2004, before and after the oral health care reform. An evaluation was made of how the health political goals of the reform: integrating oral health care into general health care, improving adults' access to care and lowering cost barriers had been fulfilled during the study period. Methods National registers were used as data sources for the study. Use of dental services, personnel resources and costs in 2000 (before the reform and in 2004 (after the reform were compared. Results In 2000, when access to publicly subsidised dental services was restricted to those born in 1956 or later, every third adult used the PDS or subsidised private services. By 2004, when subsidies had been extended to the whole adult population, this increased to almost every second adult. The PDS reported having seen 118 076 more adult patients in 2004 than in 2000. The private sector had the same number of patients but 542 656 of them had not previously been entitled to partial reimbursement of fees. The use of both public and subsidised private services increased most in big cities and urban municipalities where access to the PDS had been poor and the number of private practitioners was high. The PDS employed more dentists (6.5% and the number of private practitioners fell by 6.9%. The total dental care expenditure (PDS plus private
This paper investigates the effects of inequality in health on economic growth in low and middle income countries. The empirical part of the paper uses an original cross-national panel data set covering 62 low and middle income countries over the period 1985 to 2007. I find a substantial and relatively robust negative effect of health inequality on income levels and income growth controlling for life expectancy, country and time fixed-effects and a large number of other effects that have been shown to matter for growth. The effect also holds if health inequality is instrumented to circumvent a potential problem of reverse causality. Hence, reducing inequality in the access to health care and to health-related information can make a substantial contribution to economic growth.
Poverty and ill-health are intertwined. Poor countries tend to have worse health outcomes than better-off countries. Within countries, poor people have worse health outcomes than better-off people. This association reflects causality running in both directions: poverty breeds ill-health, and ill-health keeps poor people poor. The evidence on inequalities in health between the poor and non-poor and on the consequences for impoverishment and income inequality associated with health care expenses is discussed in this article. An outline is given of what is known about the causes of inequalities and about the effectiveness of policies intended to combat them. It is argued that too little is known about the impacts of such policies, notwithstanding a wealth of measurement techniques and considerable evidence on the extent and causes of inequalities.
Ni Ketut Aryastami
Full Text Available So far, limited research has been done on inequity and inequality in health care utilisation in Indonesia. As anywhere else in the world, wealth and education are unequally distributed over the population. Need of health care is a major determinant which should affect use to health services. Using data from the 1997 Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey and the concentration index approach, models of access to preventive care in children age 12-23 months, pregnancy related care for mothers as well as curative care for children five years old or less is estimated. Asset scores are used to analyse whether health care utilisation of children and mothers is correlated to household wealth. Significant inequity has been found in the utilisation of health care by wealth. Access to preventive care for children immunisation and pregnancy related care (tetanus injection, first visit for antenatal care, place for antenatal care, place for delivery, professional assistance for delivery as well as curative care (medical treatment for diarrhoea and ARJ tend to be significantly different by household wealth. Wealthier mothers use more health services than poorer mothers do. An exception to this rule is treatment for diarrhoea and ARI. This may be explained by measurement error. Need (health care, urban-rural residence and education are confounding that are found to reduce the concentration indices for use. Horizontal equity principle is violated, in the sense that mothers in equal need are found to be treated unequally.
Tapia Granados, José A
This essay reviews the relation between health inequities and economic growth. The general meaning of these and ancillary concepts (economic development, health inequalities) is briefly reviewed. Some studies illustrating different hypotheses on the long-run historical evolution of health inequalities are presented, and three case studies -the United States in 1920-1940 and in recent years, Finland during the expansion of the 1980s and the recession of the 1990s- are reviewed to demonstrate the evolution of health inequalities during the periods of expansion and recession in markets economies that conform to the so-called business cycle. Health inequities between ethnic groups and social classes are often found in modern societies, and some of these disparities seem to be widening. Periods of economic expansion do not seem favorable for the lessening of health inequalities. Contrarily, and counter-intuitively, evidence rather suggests that it is during periods of recession that gaps in health between privileged and disadvantaged groups tend to narrow.
Signal, Louise; Martin, Jennifer; Reid, Papaarangi; Carroll, Christopher; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Ormsby, Vera Keefe; Richards, Ruth; Robson, Bridget; Wall, Teresa
Background This paper reports on health inequalities awareness-raising workshops conducted with senior New Zealand health sector staff as part of the Government's goal of reducing inequalities in health, education, employment and housing. Methods The workshops were based on a multi-method needs assessment with senior staff in key health institutions. The workshops aimed to increase the knowledge and skills of health sector staff to act on, and advocate for, eliminating inequalities in health. They were practical, evidence-based, and action oriented and took a social approach to the causes of inequalities in health. The workshops used ethnicity as a case study and explored racism as a driver of inequalities. They focused on the role of institutionalized racism, or racism that is built into health sector institutions. Institutional theory provided a framework for participants to analyse how their institutions create and maintain inequalities and how they can act to change this. Results Participants identified a range of institutional mechanisms that promote inequalities and a range of ways to address them including: undertaking further training, using Māori (the indigenous people) models of health in policy-making, increasing Māori participation and partnership in decision making, strengthening sector relationships with iwi (tribes), funding and supporting services provided 'by Māori for Māori', ensuring a strategic approach to intersectoral work, encouraging stronger community involvement in the work of the institution, requiring all evaluations to assess impact on inequalities, and requiring the sector to report on progress in addressing health inequalities. The workshops were rated highly by participants, who indicated increased commitment to tackle inequalities as a result of the training. Discussion Government and sector leadership were critical to the success of the workshops and subsequent changes in policy and practice. The use of locally adapted equity
Full Text Available Abstract Background This paper reports on health inequalities awareness-raising workshops conducted with senior New Zealand health sector staff as part of the Government's goal of reducing inequalities in health, education, employment and housing. Methods The workshops were based on a multi-method needs assessment with senior staff in key health institutions. The workshops aimed to increase the knowledge and skills of health sector staff to act on, and advocate for, eliminating inequalities in health. They were practical, evidence-based, and action oriented and took a social approach to the causes of inequalities in health. The workshops used ethnicity as a case study and explored racism as a driver of inequalities. They focused on the role of institutionalized racism, or racism that is built into health sector institutions. Institutional theory provided a framework for participants to analyse how their institutions create and maintain inequalities and how they can act to change this. Results Participants identified a range of institutional mechanisms that promote inequalities and a range of ways to address them including: undertaking further training, using Māori (the indigenous people models of health in policy-making, increasing Māori participation and partnership in decision making, strengthening sector relationships with iwi (tribes, funding and supporting services provided 'by Māori for Māori', ensuring a strategic approach to intersectoral work, encouraging stronger community involvement in the work of the institution, requiring all evaluations to assess impact on inequalities, and requiring the sector to report on progress in addressing health inequalities. The workshops were rated highly by participants, who indicated increased commitment to tackle inequalities as a result of the training. Discussion Government and sector leadership were critical to the success of the workshops and subsequent changes in policy and practice. The use
Chandra, Amitabh; Frakes, Michael; Malani, Anup
More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, health care for racial and ethnic minorities remains in many ways separate and unequal in the United States. Moreover, efforts to improve minority health care face challenges that differ from those confronted during de jure segregation. We review these challenges and examine whether stronger enforcement of existing civil rights legislation could help overcome them. We conclude that stronger enforcement of existing laws-for example, through executive orders to strengthen enforcement of the laws and congressional action to allow private individuals to bring lawsuits against providers who might have engaged in discrimination-would improve minority health care, but this approach is limited in what it can achieve. Complementary approaches outside the legal arena, such as quality improvement efforts and direct transfers of money to minority-serving providers-those seeing a disproportionate number of minority patients relative to their share of the population-might prove to be more effective. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
J.J. Rözer; B. Volker
According to the income inequality hypothesis, income inequality is associated with poorer health. One important proposed mechanism for this effect is reduced trust. In this study, we argue that income inequality during a person's formative years (i.e., around age 16) may have lasting consequences f
Rözer, J.J.; Volker, B.
According to the income inequality hypothesis, income inequality is associated with poorer health. One important proposed mechanism for this effect is reduced trust. In this study, we argue that income inequality during a person's formative years (i.e., around age 16) may have lasting consequences f
Murray, C. J.; Gakidou, E. E.; Frenk, J.
Both health inequalities and social group health differences are important aspects of measuring population health. Despite widespread recognition of their magnitude in many high- and low-income countries, there is considerable debate about the meaning and measurement of health inequalities, social group health differences and inequities. The lack of standard definitions, measurement strategies and indicators has and will continue to limit comparisons--between and within countries, and over time--of health inequalities, and perhaps more importantly comparative analyses of their determinants. Such comparative work, however, will be essential to find effective policies for governments to reduce health inequalities. This article addresses the question of whether we should be measuring health inequalities or social group health differences. To help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of these two approaches, we review some of the major arguments for and against each of them. PMID:10444876
Gupta, Madhu; Bosma, Hans; Angeli, Federica; Kaur, Manmeet; Chakrapani, Venkatesan; Rana, Monica; van Schayck, Onno C. P.
A multi-strategy community intervention, known as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), was implemented in India from 2005 to 2012. By improving the availability of and access to better-quality healthcare, the aim was to reduce maternal and child health (MCH) inequalities. This study was planned to explore the perceptions and beliefs of stakeholders about extent of implementation and effectiveness of NRHM’s health sector plans in improving MCH status and reducing inequalities. A total of 33 in-depth interviews (n = 33) with program managers, community representatives, mothers and 8 focus group discussions (n = 42) with health service providers were conducted from September to December 2013, in Haryana, post NRHM. Using NVivo software (version 9), an inductive applied thematic analysis was done based upon grounded theory, program theory of change and a framework approach. Almost all the participants reported that there was an improvement in overall health infrastructure through an increased availability of accredited social health activists, free ambulance services, and free treatment facilities in rural areas. This had increased the demand and utilization of MCH services, especially for those related to institutional delivery, even by the poor families. Service providers felt that acute shortage of human resources was a major health system level barrier. District-specific individual, community, and socio-political level barriers were also observed. Overall program managers, service providers and community representatives believed that NRHM had a role in improving MCH outcomes and in reduction of geographical and socioeconomic inequalities, through improvement in accessibility, availability and affordability of the MCH services in the rural areas and for the poor. Any reduction in gender-based inequalities, however, was linked to the adoption of small family sizes and an increase in educational levels. PMID:28099465
A lifetime spent studying how social determinants of health lead to health inequalities has clarified many issues. First is that social stratification is an appropriate topic of study for epidemiologists. To ignore it would be to ignore a major source of variation in health in society. Not only is the social gradient in health appropriate to study but we have made progress both in understanding its causes and what can be done to address them. Post-modern 'critical theory' raises questions about the social construction of science. Given the attack on science by politicians of bad faith, it is important to recognise that epidemiology and public health have a crucial role to play in providing evidence to improve health of society and reduce inequalities. Evidence gives grounds for optimism that progress can be made both in improving the health of the worst-off in society and narrowing health inequalities. Theoretical debates about 'inequality of what' have been helpful in clarifying theories that drive further gathering of evidence. While it is important to consider alternative explanations of the social gradient in health-principal among them reverse causation-evidence strongly supports social causation. Social action is by its nature political. It is, though, a vital function to provide the evidence that underpins action.
Full Text Available Background: A multiple-strategy community intervention, known as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM, launched in India to improve the availability of and access to better-quality healthcare, especially for rural, poor mothers and children. The final goal of the intervention is to reduce maternal and child health inequalities across geographical areas, socioeconomic status groups, and sex of the child. Extensive, in-depth research is necessary to assess the effectiveness of NRHM, on multiple outcome dimensions. This paper presents the design of a new study, able to overcome the shortcomings of previous research. Objective: To propose a comprehensive, methodologically sound protocol to assess the extent of implementation and the effectiveness of NRHM measures to improve maternal and child health outcomes and reduce maternal and child health inequalities. Design: A mixed-methods approach (quantitative and qualitative is proposed for this study in Haryana, a state in North India. NRHM's health sector plans included health system strengthening, specific maternal and child healthcare strategies, and communitization. Mission documents and reports on progress, financial monitoring, and common and joint review will be reviewed in-depth to assess the extent of the implementation of plans. Data on maternal and child health indicators will be obtained from demographic health surveys held before, during, and after the implementation of the first phase of the NRHM (2005–2012 and compared over time. Differences in maternal and child health indicators will be used to measure maternal and child health inequalities; these will be compared pre- and post-NRHM. Focus group discussions (FGDs with service providers and in-depth interviews with program managers, community representatives, and mothers will be conducted until data saturation is achieved, in two districts of Haryana. Using Nvivo software, an inductive qualitative content analysis will be performed to
Full Text Available The Chinese health system was once held up as a model for providing universal health care in the developing world in the 1970s, only to have what is now considered one of the least equitable systems in the world according to the World Health Organization. This article begins with a brief look at what equity in health services entails, and considers the inequities in access to health services in China among different segments of the population. This article will consider challenges the current inequities may present to China in the near future if reforms are not implemented. Finally, it will take a look at reforms made by China’s neighbors, Singapore and Thailand, which made their health care more equitable, affordable, and sustainable.
Full Text Available The implemented multiple-strategy community intervention National Rural Health Mission (NRHM between 2005 and 2012 aimed to reduce maternal and child health (MCH inequalities across geographical, socioeconomic and gender categories in India. The objective of this study is to quantify the extent of reduction in these inequalities pre- and post-NRHM in Haryana, North India.Data of district-level household surveys (DLHS held before (2002-04, during (2007-08, and after (2012-13 the implementation of NRHM has been used. Geographical, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in maternal and child health were assessed by estimating the absolute differences in MCH indicators between urban and rural areas, between the most advantaged and least advantaged socioeconomic groups and between male and female children. Logistic regression analyses were done to observe significant differences in these inequalities between 2005 and 2012.There were significant improvements in all MCH indicators (p<0.05. The geographical and socioeconomic differences between urban and rural areas, and between rich and poor were significantly (p<0.05 reduced for pregnant women who had an institutional delivery (geographical difference declining from 22% to 7.6%; socioeconomic from 48.2% to 13%, post-natal care within 2 weeks of delivery (2.8% to 1.5%; 30.3% to 7%; and for children with full vaccination (10% to 3.5%, 48.3% to 14% and who received oral rehydration solution (ORS for diarrhea (11% to -2.2%; 41% to 5%. Inequalities between male and female children were significantly (p<0.05 reversed for full immunization (5.7% to -0.6% and BCG immunization (1.9 to -0.9 points, and a significant (p<0.05 decrease was observed for oral polio vaccine (4.0% to 0% and measles vaccine (4.2% to 0.1%.The implemented multiple-strategy community intervention National Rural Health Mission (NRHM between 2005 and 2012 might have resulted in significant reductions in geographical, socioeconomic and gender
Gibson, L B; Blake, M; Baker, S
This paper seeks to identify an important point of contact between the literature on inequalities in oral health and the sociology of power. The paper begins by exploring the problem of social inequalities in oral health from the point of view of human freedom. It then goes on to briefly consider why inequalities in oral health matter before providing a brief overview of current approaches to reducing inequalities in oral health. After this the paper briefly introduces the problem of power in sociology before going on to outline why the problem of power matters in the problem of inequalities in oral health. Here the paper discusses how two key principles associated with the social bond have become central to how we think about health related inequalities. These principles are the principle of treating everyone the same (the principle of autonomy) and the related principle of allowing everyone to pursue their own goals (the principle of intimacy). These principles are outlined and subsequently discussed in detail with application to debates about interventions to reduce oral health related inequalities including that of water fluoridation. The paper highlights how the 'Childsmile' programme in Scotland appears to successfully negotiate the tensions inherent in attempting to do something about inequalities in oral health. It then concludes by highlighting some of the tensions that remain in attempting to alleviate oral health related inequalities.
Tranvåg, Eirik Joakim; Ali, Merima; Norheim, Ole Frithjof
Most studies on health inequalities use average measures, but describing the distribution of health can also provide valuable knowledge. In this paper, we estimate and compare within-group and between-group inequalities in length of life for population groups in Ethiopia in 2000 and 2011. We used data from the 2011 and 2000 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey and the Global Burden of Disease study 2010, and the MODMATCH modified logit life table system developed by the World Health Organization to model mortality rates, life expectancy, and length of life for Ethiopian population groups stratified by wealth quintiles, gender and residence. We then estimated and compared within-group and between-group inequality in length of life using the Gini index and absolute length of life inequality. Length of life inequality has decreased and life expectancy has increased for all population groups between 2000 and 2011. Length of life inequality within wealth quintiles is about three times larger than the between-group inequality of 9 years. Total length of life inequality in Ethiopia was 27.6 years in 2011. Longevity has increased and the distribution of health in Ethiopia is more equal in 2011 than 2000, with length of life inequality reduced for all population groups. Still there is considerable potential for further improvement. In the Ethiopian context with a poor and highly rural population, inequality in length of life within wealth quintiles is considerably larger than between them. This suggests that other factors than wealth substantially contribute to total health inequality in Ethiopia and that identification and quantification of these factors will be important for identifying proper measures to further reduce length of life inequality.
Food and Inequalities in European Union Dr. Aileen Robertson, Public Health Nutritionist at the Metropolitan University College, Copenhagen. Dr. Robertson focused on food and inequality in light of the increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe. On average over 50% of Europeans...... to reduce the amount of cheap energy from sugars and saturated fats available in the European diet. Also, Europe-wide legislation is needed both to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and to label the “country of origin” of sustainable products....
Azria, E; Stewart, Z; Gonthier, C; Estellat, C; Deneux-Tharaux, C
Although medical literature on social inequalities in perinatal health is qualitatively heterogeneous, it is quantitatively important and reveals the existence of a social gradient in terms of perinatal risk. However, published data regarding maternal health, if also qualitatively heterogeneous, are relatively less numerous. Nevertheless, it appears that social inequalities also exist concerning severe maternal morbidity as well as maternal mortality. Analyses are still insufficient to understand the mechanisms involved and explain how the various dimensions of the women social condition interact with maternal health indicators. Inadequate prenatal care and suboptimal obstetric care may be intermediary factors, as they are related to both social status and maternal outcomes, in terms of maternal morbidity, its worsening or progression, and maternal mortality.
Eriksson, Tor; Pan, Jay; Qin, Xuezheng
. The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition further indicates that 15% to 27% of the rural–urban inequality of child health is attributable to the endowed inequality from their parents' health. An important policy implication of our study is that the increasing inequality of income and opportunity in China can...
A. Wagstaff (Adam); P. Paci (Paci); E.K.A. van Doorslaer (Eddy)
textabstractThis paper offers a critical appraisal of the various methods employed to date to measure inequalities in health. It suggests that only two of these—the slope index of inequality and the concentration index—are likely to present an accurate picture of socioeconomic inequalities in health
Social work practice in health is shaped by underlying paradigms. To effectively target health inequities, practitioners need to consider appropriate paradigms. In this exploration of how six health paradigms shape theory and practice, the two health paradigms that most attended to health inequalities are social determinants of health and…
Garcia, I; Tabak, L A
Despite impressive worldwide improvements in oral health, inequalities in oral health status among and within countries remain a daunting public health challenge. Oral health inequalities arise from a complex web of health determinants, including social, behavioral, economic, genetic, environmental, and health system factors. Eliminating these inequalities cannot be accomplished in isolation of oral health from overall health, or without recognizing that oral health is influenced at multiple individual, family, community, and health systems levels. For several reasons, this is an opportune time for global efforts targeted at reducing oral health inequalities. Global health is increasingly viewed not just as a humanitarian obligation, but also as a vehicle for health diplomacy and part of the broader mission to reduce poverty, build stronger economies, and strengthen global security. Despite the global economic recession, there are trends that portend well for support of global health efforts: increased globalization of research and development, growing investment from private philanthropy, an absolute growth of spending in research and innovation, and an enhanced interest in global health among young people. More systematic and far-reaching efforts will be required to address oral health inequalities through the engagement of oral health funders and sponsors of research, with partners from multiple public and private sectors. The oral health community must be "at the table" with other health disciplines and create opportunities for eliminating inequalities through collaborations that can harness both the intellectual and financial resources of multiple sectors and institutions.
This paper uses the aggregate data from the Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF) of Canadian National Population Health Survey to estimate income related health inequalities across the ten Canadian provinces. The unique features of the PUMF allow for a meaningful cross-provincial comparison of health indices and their measured inequalities. It concludes that health inequalities favouring the higher income people do exist in all provinces when health status is either self assessed or measured by the health utility index. Moreover, it finds considerable variations in measured health inequalities across the provinces with consistent rankings for certain provinces.
Burns, J K
The relationship between poverty and mental health is indisputable. However, to have an influence on the next set of sustainable global development goals, we need to understand the causal relationships between social determinants such as poverty, inequality, lack of education and unemployment; thereby clarifying which aspects of poverty are the key drivers of mental illness. Some of the major challenges identified by Lund (2014) in understanding the poverty-mental health relationship are discussed including: the need for appropriate poverty indicators; extending this research agenda to a broader range of mental health outcomes; the need to engage with theoretical concepts such as Amartya Sen's capability framework; and the need to integrate the concept of income/economic inequality into studies of poverty and mental health. Although income inequality is a powerful driver of poor physical and mental health outcomes, it features rarely in research and discourse on social determinants of mental health. This paper interrogates in detail the relationships between poverty, income inequality and mental health, specifically: the role of income inequality as a mediator of the poverty-mental health relationship; the relative utility of commonly used income inequality metrics; and the likely mechanisms underlying the impact of inequality on mental health, including direct stress due to the setting up of social comparisons as well as the erosion of social capital leading to social fragmentation. Finally, we need to interrogate the upstream political, social and economic causes of inequality itself, since these should also become potential targets in efforts to promote sustainable development goals and improve population (mental) health. In particular, neoliberal (market-oriented) political doctrines lead to both increased income inequality and reduced social cohesion. In conclusion, understanding the relationships between politics, poverty, inequality and mental health
Full Text Available According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD study, the global prevalence of blindness (age-standardised has declined from 0.60% in 1990 to 0.47% in 2010. This seems to indicate that an increasing number of people have access to good eye health services.
Eriksson, Tor; Pan, Jay; Qin, Xuezheng
, supporting the “nature-nurture interaction” hypothesis. The Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition further indicates that 15% to 27% of the rural-urban inequality of child health is attributable to the endowed inequality from their parents’ health. An important policy implication of our study is that the increasing...
Niedzwiedz, Claire L.; Popham, Frank
We assessed whether educational inequalities in mental health may be mediated by employment status and household income. Poor mental health was assessed using General Health Questionnaire ‘caseness’ in working age adult participants (N = 48 654) of the Health Survey for England (2001–10). Relative indices of inequality by education level were calculated. Substantial inequalities were apparent, with adjustment for employment status and household income markedly reducing their magnitude. Educational inequalities in mental health were attenuated by employment status. Policy responses to economic recession (such as active labour market interventions) might reduce mental health inequalities but longitudinal research is needed to exclude reverse causation. PMID:27593454
Arcaya, Mariana C; Arcaya, Alyssa L; Subramanian, S V
Individuals from different backgrounds, social groups, and countries enjoy different levels of health. This article defines and distinguishes between unavoidable health inequalities and unjust and preventable health inequities. We describe the dimensions along which health inequalities are commonly examined, including across the global population, between countries or states, and within geographies, by socially relevant groupings such as race/ethnicity, gender, education, caste, income, occupation, and more. Different theories attempt to explain group-level differences in health, including psychosocial, material deprivation, health behavior, environmental, and selection explanations. Concepts of relative versus absolute; dose-response versus threshold; composition versus context; place versus space; the life course perspective on health; causal pathways to health; conditional health effects; and group-level versus individual differences are vital in understanding health inequalities. We close by reflecting on what conditions make health inequalities unjust, and to consider the merits of policies that prioritize the elimination of health disparities versus those that focus on raising the overall standard of health in a population.
Stephens, Nicole M; Markus, Hazel Rose; Fryberg, Stephanie A
The literature on social class disparities in health and education contains 2 underlying, yet often opposed, models of behavior: the individual model and the structural model. These models refer to largely unacknowledged assumptions about the sources of human behavior that are foundational to research and interventions. Our review and theoretical integration proposes that, in contrast to how the 2 models are typically represented, they are not opposed, but instead they are complementary sets of understandings that inform and extend each other. Further, we elaborate the theoretical rationale and predictions for a third model: the sociocultural self model of behavior. This model incorporates and extends key tenets of the individual and structural models. First, the sociocultural self model conceptualizes individual characteristics (e.g., skills) and structural conditions (e.g., access to resources) as interdependent forces that mutually constitute each other and that are best understood together. Second, the sociocultural self model recognizes that both individual characteristics and structural conditions indirectly influence behavior through the selves that emerge in the situation. These selves are malleable psychological states that are a product of the ongoing mutual constitution of individuals and structures and serve to guide people's behavior by systematically shaping how people construe situations. The theoretical foundation of the sociocultural self model lays the groundwork for a more complete understanding of behavior and provides new tools for developing interventions that will reduce social class disparities in health and education. The model predicts that intervention efforts will be more effective at producing sustained behavior change when (a) current selves are congruent, rather than incongruent, with the desired behavior and (b) individual characteristics and structural conditions provide ongoing support for the selves that are necessary to support
address inequalities in health care should commence at the root causes and ..... financed systems, ranging from national healch insurance systems, nation- al heahh service .... In SOUIh. Africa's case we are prisoners of our history with regard.
McCartney, Gerry; Collins, Chik; Mackenzie, Mhairi
Health inequalities are the unjust differences in health between groups of people occupying different positions in society. Since the Black Report of 1980 there has been considerable effort to understand what causes them, so as to be able to identify actions to reduce them. This paper revisits and updates the proposed theories, evaluates the evidence in light of subsequent epidemiological research, and underlines the political and policy ramifications. The Black Report suggested four theories (artefact, selection, behavioural/cultural and structural) as to the root causes of health inequalities and suggested that structural theory provided the best explanation. These theories have since been elaborated to include intelligence and meritocracy as part of selection theory. However, the epidemiological evidence relating to the proposed causal pathways does not support these newer elaborations. They may provide partial explanations or insights into the mechanisms between cause and effect, but structural theory remains the best explanation as to the fundamental causes of health inequalities. The paper draws out the vitally important political and policy implications of this assessment. Health inequalities cannot be expected to reduce substantially as a result of policy aimed at changing health behaviours, particularly in the face of wider public policy that militates against reducing underlying social inequalities. Furthermore, political rhetoric about the need for 'cultural change', without the required changes in the distribution of power, income, wealth, or in the regulatory frameworks in society, is likely to divert from necessary action.
Full Text Available En noviembre de 2008, a petición de la Dirección General de Salud Pública y Sanidad Exterior del Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social, se constituyó la Comisión para Reducir las Desigualdades Sociales en Salud en España con el cometido de elaborar una propuesta de medidas de intervención para disminuir las desigualdades en salud. El objetivo de este artículo es exponer el trabajo realizado y los documentos elaborados por la Comisión. Los 18 profesionales que la formaban realizaron un análisis de situación sobre las desigualdades en salud y las políticas para reducirlas, revisaron documentos internacionales y consultaron a 56 expertos de distintos ámbitos para elaborar una propuesta de recomendaciones para disminuir las desigualdades en salud. En mayo de 2010, la Comisión presentó el documento «Avanzando hacia la equidad: Propuesta de políticas e intervenciones para reducir las desigualdades sociales en salud en España». En el documento se detallan 166 recomendaciones, divididas en 14 áreas y ordenadas por prioridad. Las recomendaciones evidencian que la reducción de las desigualdades sociales en salud no es posible sin un compromiso para impulsar la salud y la equidad en todas las políticas y para avanzar hacia una sociedad más justa.In November 2008, at the request of the Directorate General of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy, the Commission to Reduce Social Inequalities in Health in Spain was established with a mandate to develop a proposal for interventions to reduce health inequalities. This article aims to present the work carried out and the documents prepared by the Commission. The Commission, consisting of 18 members, conducted a situational analysis of health inequalities and of the policies to reduce them, reviewed international documents and consulted 56 experts from distinct fields to develop a proposal for recommendations to reduce health inequalities. In May 2010, the Commission
Economic and social resources are known to contribute to the unequal distribution of health outcomes. Culture-related factors such as normative beliefs, knowledge and behaviours have also been shown to be associated with health status. The role and function of cultural resources in the unequal distribution of health is addressed. Drawing on the work of French Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, the concept of cultural capital for its contribution to the current understanding of social inequalities in health is explored. It is suggested that class related cultural resources interact with economic and social capital in the social structuring of people's health chances and choices. It is concluded that cultural capital is a key element in the behavioural transformation of social inequality into health inequality. New directions for empirical research on the interplay between economic, social and cultural capital are outlined.
Full Text Available This paper wishes to contribute to the debate around citizen participation in health system decision-making that has been present internationally for the last 30 years. I argue that if we aim to change health inequalities, health professionals and planners need to understand the illness and health service experience of citizens. The concept of 'health citizenship' introduced here refers to health knowledge that integrates the lay knowledge of patients and that this integration is translated into health actions such as clinical communication and the planning of health care, programs, and policy. We illustrate our argument with the two cases: health literacy and the promotion of breastfeeding in a Canadian population living in context of poverty. This paper then concludes by addressing the leadership role, Brazilian graduate nursing schools can play in promoting 'health citizenship' and by doing so, contribute to fight health inequalities.
Whittle, Patrick M
Research into the possible genetic basis of health inequalities between different ethnic or racial groups raises many scientific, ethical and political concerns. Proponents of such research point to the possible benefits for marginalised groups of understanding genetic influences on health outcomes; opponents indicate the potential social costs, citing historical use of Darwinian concepts to explain and justify inequalities between different peoples. Many health researchers may avoid the subject due to its potential for controversy--e.g. the recent media furore over the so-called 'warrior gene', and its apparent genetic explanations for negative health and social statistics among Maori. This article argues for a more nuanced account of the evolutionary history of marginalised groups such as Maori, one that accepts the possibility of relevant genetic differences between sub-populations, but which also acknowledges genuine ethical and political concerns. Such an account may assist health researchers in addressing the politically sensitive subject of 'race' and social inequality.
In 2010, Mackenbach reflected on England's lack of success in reducing health inequalities between 1997 and 2010, asserting that "it is difficult to imagine a longer window of opportunity for tackling health inequalities"; asking "[i]f this did not work, what will?"; and concluding that reducing health inequalities was not politically feasible at least in that jurisdiction. Exploring the empirics of that observation offers a window into the politics of reducing health inequalities. For purposes of future comparative research, I outline three (not mutually exclusive) perspectives on political feasibility, identify their implications for a political science of health inequalities, and explore what they mean for advocacy in support of reducing those inequalities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This article reviews inequalities in health risks and outcomes based on a large longitudinal cohort study of distance-learning adult students enrolled at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (n = 87,134. The study began in 2005 and the first follow-up was completed in 2009. Risks analyzed for health inequalities were divided into demographic, socioeconomic, geographical, behavioral, and environmental groups. Unequal risks and outcomes identified that would be amenable to policy interventions in transitional Thailand include the following: heat stress—contributing to many adverse outcomes, including occupational injury, psychological distress, and kidney disease; urbanization—unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyles, low social capital, and poor mental health; obesity—increasingly common especially with rising income and age among men; and injury—big problem for young males and associated with excessive alcohol and dangerous transport. These substantial inequalities require attention from multisectoral policy makers to reduce the gaps and improve health of the Thai population.
Sep 3, 2012 ... inequalities, race, health in South Africa, health systems, .... gaps could be used oshape further research on health inequalities in .... 15 See : Statistics South Africa : July 2015, South Africa Average Monthly Gross Wage.
Guillemin, Francis; Carruthers, Erin; Li, Linda C
Even in most egalitarian societies, disparities in care exist to the disadvantage of some people with chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and related disability. These situations translate into inequality in health and health outcomes. The goal of this chapter is to review concepts and determinants associated with health inequity, and the effect of interventions to minimize their impact. Health inequities are avoidable, unnecessary, unfair and unjust. Inequities can occur across the health care continuum, from primary and secondary prevention to diagnosis and treatment. There are many ways to define and identify inequities, according for instance to ethical, philosophical, epidemiological, sociological, economic, or public health points of view. These complementary views can be applied to set a framework of analysis, identify determinants and suggest targets of action against inequity. Most determinants of inequity in MSK disorders are similar to those in the general population and other chronic diseases. People may be exposed to inequity as a result of policies and rules set by the health care system, individuals' demographic characteristics (e.g., education level), or some behavior of health professionals and of patients. Osteoarthritis (OA) represents a typical chronic MSK condition. The PROGRESS-Plus framework is useful for identifying the important role that place of residence, race and ethnicity, occupation, gender, education, socioeconomic status, social capital and networks, age, disability and sexual orientation may have in creating or maintaining inequities in this disease. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a consideration of international data led to the conclusion that not all RA patients who needed biologic therapy had access to it. The disparity in care was due partly to policies of a country and a health care system, or economic conditions. We conclude this chapter by discussing examples of interventions designed for reducing health inequity.
We survey the burgeoning literature on inequality of opportunity in health. We focus on ways to tackle health inequalities. We are of the opinion that the main contribution so far of this literature is in inviting us to choose a new indicator of the relative success of the public policy, which aims at reducing health inequalities. This indicator is the part of explained health inequalities due to lifestyles. We can defend the use of this indicator on the basis of a value judgment but we will restrain us to do so here. Our argument is mainly positive. It resorts on the fact that, so far, we do not know how to tackle health inequalities coming from differences in lifestyles. These inequalities seem more irreducible than inherited health inequalities, as the Great Britain example shows us. When these inequalities are quite high in proportion of total explained inequalities, it means that we are not so far from a public health policy, which is going to reach his main objective in reducing health inequalities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
... trends and ongoing variations in health disparities and inequalities for selected social and health indicators. This is important for encouraging ... behavioral risk factors for disease, environmental hazards, and social determinants of ... Disparities & Inequalities Report - United States, 2013 ...
Bringedal, Berit; Tufte, Per Arne
Empirical studies of social inequalities in health commonly take the diagnosing of disease for granted. Social inequalities in health are seen as the result of social processes, yet the diagnosis itself is rarely considered to contribute to such inequality. We argue that the influence of sociocultural and cognitive bias in the diagnosing process follows a social pattern, such that certain diagnoses are disproportionally over- or underrepresented in different socioeconomic groups due to interpretive bias of underlying symptoms. Norwegian data on sick leave for diffuse musculoskeletal and diffuse psychiatric disease in 2006 were analysed to study the distribution of the two diagnoses in different status groups. Socioeconomic status was measured by years of education. Diagnoses and occupational codes were based on national registers; diagnoses in accordance with the International Classification of Primary Care second edition. We compared occupations in technical sectors to occupations in the health sector and the relative number of cases of sick leave controlled for years of education, gender, occupational sector, and diagnosis. Data were analysed by cross-tabulation, ratio of diffuse psychiatric/musculoskeletal diseases, and logistic regression. The ratio of diffuse psychiatric/musculoskeletal diseases increases with education and decreases if the employee works in a technical job. The results challenge the traditional explanation that job features alone can explain the distribution of disease and suggest that a part of the persistent social inequality in health can be caused by the diagnosing process. In order to reach a better understanding of the processes behind the social inequalities in health, the diagnosing process itself should also be studied.
Girard, Gustavo A
Although poverty is not a new phenomenon, currently it has peculiar characteristics: globalization, inequity, new features in education, exclusion, gender inequalities, marginalization of native peoples and migrations, difficulties found by different sectors to have access to technology, and unemployment. These characteristics are seen not only in countries considered to be developing nations, but affect the whole world. The present international financial crisis, this time originating in industrialized countries, represents an aggravating factor, the consequences of which are still difficult to estimate. It has a particular impact on adolescents and young people in terms of health as a whole, mortality rates, violence, nutrition, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health, and disabilities, all being aggravated by the difficulties of access to ap propriate health services. Social capital is seriously affected, and this entails a strong and deleterious impact not only on present generations but also on future ones. It is a challenge that cannot be ignored.
Salaverry García, Oswaldo
Health inequity, main issue of contemporary debates on public health, is based on philosophical and historical concepts that date back to the idea of justice from classic Greece. The Aristotelian approach on distributive justice and its higher form, epiekeia or equity, has been reviewed, as well as how this evolves from the Middle Ages and modernity to the heart of the debate of a variety of thinkers such as liberal Rawls and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. On this conceptual debate lies the World Health Organization version that links equity to health determinants and intends to make it operational through the equitable provision of health services.
Frohlich, Katherine L; Abel, Thomas
While empirical evidence continues to show that people living in low socio-economic status neighbourhoods are less likely to engage in health-enhancing behaviour, our understanding of why this is so remains less than clear. We suggest that two changes could take place to move from description to understanding in this field; (i) a move away from the established concept of individual health behaviour to a contextualised understanding of health practices; and (ii) a switch from focusing on health inequalities in outcomes to health inequities in conditions. We apply Pierre Bourdieu's theory on capital interaction but find it insufficient with regard to the role of agency for structural change. We therefore introduce Amartya Sen's capability approach as a useful link between capital interaction theory and action to reduce social inequities in health-related practices. Sen's capability theory also elucidates the importance of discussing unequal chances in terms of inequity, rather than inequality, in order to underscore the moral nature of inequalities. We draw on the discussion in social geography on environmental injustice, which also underscores the moral nature of the spatial distribution of opportunities. The article ends by applying this approach to the 'Interdisciplinary study of inequalities in smoking' framework.
Joe, William; Rudra, Shalini; Subramanian, S V
Against the backdrop of population aging, this paper presents the analysis of need-standardised health care utilization among elderly in India. Based on nationally representative morbidity and health care survey 2004, we demonstrate that the need for health care utilization is indeed pro-poor in nature. However, the actual health care utilization is concentrated among richer sections of the population. Further, the decomposition analysis reveals that income has a very strong role in shifting the distribution of health care away from the poor elderly. The impact of income on utilization is well-demonstrated even at the ecological-level as states with higher per capita incomes have higher elderly health care utilization even as the levels of need-predicted distribution across these states are similar. We also find that the distribution of elderly across social groups and their educational achievements favours the rich and significantly contributes to overall inequality. Nevertheless, contribution of need-related self-assessed health clearly favours pro-poor inequality. In concluding, we argue that to reduce such inequities in health care utilization it is necessary to increase public investments in health care infrastructure including geriatric care particularly in rural areas and underdeveloped regions to enhance access and quality of health care for the elderly.
Novoa, Ana M; Bosch, Jordi; Díaz, Fernando; Malmusi, Davide; Darnell, Mercè; Trilla, Carme
Housing conditions can impact on physical and mental health through 4 interrelated dimensions: 1) the home (the emotional housing conditions), 2) the physical housing conditions, and 3) the physical environment, and 4) the social (community) environment of the neighborhood where the house is located. In Spain, the use of the construction market as an engine for economic growth and the promotion of private property as the main type of housing tenure has led to the use of housing as a speculative good instead of its being considered a first-necessity good. While Spain is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country with the largest housing stock per inhabitant, this stock is highly underutilized, thus excluding the most deprived sector of the population from access to housing. The impact of the current economic crisis on housing has mainly been due to a reduction in household income, which has increased the number of families or persons struggling to cover their housing costs or being evicted. Evidence indicates that this type of problem has a negative impact on health, especially on mental health, but financial problems also make it difficult to meet other basic needs such as eating. There are several instruments to reduce the impact of the economic crisis, such as debt financing or deed of assignment in payment. In the long-term, the creation of a social housing stock should be promoted, as well as rental assistance mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Karanikolos, Marina; Kentikelenis, Alexander
Since the beginning of economic crisis, Greece has been experiencing unprecedented levels of unemployment and profound cuts to public budgets. Health and welfare sectors were subject to severe austerity measures, which have endangered provision of as well as access to services, potentially widening health inequality gap. European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions data show that the proportion of individuals on low incomes reporting unmet medical need due to cost doubled from 7 % in 2008 to 13.9 % in 2013, while the relative gap in access to care between the richest and poorest population groups increased almost ten-fold. In addition, austerity cuts have affected other vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and injecting drug users. Steps have been taken in attempt to mitigate the impact of the austerity, however addressing the growing health inequality gap will require persistent effort of the country's leadership for years to come.
Full Text Available Health financing is a core necessity for sustainable healthcare delivery. Access inequalities due to financial restrictions in low-middle income countries, and in Africa especially, significantly affect disease rates and health statistics in these regions. This paper focuses on the role of a national health insurance cover as a funding medium in Nigeria, highlighting the theoretical premise of health insurance, its driving forces, key benefits and key limitations particular to the country under scrutiny. Emphasis is laid on its overall effect on the pressing public health issue of health inequality.
Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros
Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to assess social inequalities in health status, health behavior and the use of health services based on education level. A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out involving 1,518 elderly residents of Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil. Significant demographic and social differences were found between schooling strata. Elderly individuals with a higher degree of schooling are in greater proportion alcohol drinkers, physically active, have healthier diets and a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, dizziness, headaches, back pain, visual impairment and denture use, and better self-rated health. But, there were no differences in the use of health services in the previous two weeks, in hospitalizations or surgeries in the previous year, nor in medicine intake over the previous three days. Among elderly people with hypertension and diabetes, there were no differences in the regular use of health services and medication. The results demonstrate social inequalities in different health indicators, along with equity in access to some health service components.
The impact of inequality on health is gaining more attention as public and political concern grows over increasing inequality. The income inequality hypothesis, which holds that inequality is detrimental to overall population health, is especially pertinent. However the emphasis on inequality can be challenged on both empirical and theoretical grounds. Empirically, the evidence is contradictory and contested; theoretically, it is inconsistent with our understanding of human societies as complex systems. Research and discussion, both scientific and political, need to reflect better this complexity, and give greater recognition to other social determinants of health.
Full Text Available It is well known that health outcomes are not allotted evenly among countries, between regions in a country, and even among people living in the same neighborhood. For example, while a Japanese person enjoys living 83.1 years in 2009 on average, life expectancy at birth for a Zambian person is only 47.9 years, pointing out that there are notable disparities in the health of differing groups. Lifestyle factors, biological factors, and social gradients lead to most health inequalities. Health inequalities are unjust and avoidable when they arise due to the unfair distribution of the social gradients such as education, income, and social status. However, some are not unjust and hence acceptable if they are derived completely from free choices fully informed adults make such as smoking, alcohol, risky hobbies. Therefore, governments should provide equal and fair opportunity for health and improve health status of the worst off, but they have to keep in mind that even with the best policies, unequal but just health outcomes may still persist as a residual.
Veenstra, Gerry; Patterson, Andrew C
Little is known about Black-White health inequalities in Canada or the applicability of competing explanations for them. To address this gap, we used nine cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey to analyze multiple health outcomes in a sample of 3,127 Black women, 309,720 White women, 2,529 Black men and 250,511 White men. Adjusting for age, marital status, urban/rural residence and immigrant status, Black women and men were more likely than their White counterparts to report diabetes and hypertension, Black women were less likely than White women to report cancer and fair/poor mental health and Black men were less likely than White men to report heart disease. These health inequalities persisted after controlling for education, household income, smoking, physical activity and body-mass index. We conclude that high rates of diabetes and hypertension among Black Canadians may stem from experiences of racism in everyday life, low rates of heart disease and cancer among Black Canadians may reflect survival bias and low rates of fair/poor mental health among Black Canadian women represent a mental health paradox similar to the one that exists for African Americans in the United States.
Wade, Robert Hunter
Over the past 20 years or so, India, China, and the rest of East Asia experienced fast economic growth and falls in the poverty rate, Latin America stagnated, and the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa regressed. But what are the net trends? The neoliberal argument says that world poverty and income inequality fell over the past two decades for the first time in more than a century and a half, thanks to the rising density of economic integration across national borders. The evidence therefore confirms that globalization in the context of the world economic regime in place since the end of Bretton Woods generates more "mutual benefit" than "conflicting interests." This article questions the empirical basis of the neoliberal argument.
Ravesteijn, Bastian; van Kippersluis, Hans; van Doorslaer, Eddy
Health is distributed unequally by occupation. Workers on a lower rung of the occupational ladder report worse health, have a higher probability of disability and die earlier than workers higher up the occupational hierarchy. Using a theoretical framework that unveils some of the potential mechanisms underlying these disparities, three core insights emerge: (i) there is selection into occupation on the basis of initial wealth, education, and health, (ii) there will be behavioural responses to adverse working conditions, which can have compensating or reinforcing effects on health, and (iii) workplace conditions increase health inequalities if workers with initially low socioeconomic status choose harmful occupations and don’t offset detrimental health effects. We provide empirical illustrations of these insights using data for the Netherlands and assess the evidence available in the economics literature. PMID:24899789
Szwarcwald, C L; Bastos, F I; Esteves, M A; de Andrade, C L; Paez, M S; Medici, E V; Derrico, M
This ecological analysis addresses the association between income inequality and health status in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. Data were analyzed using geo-processing and multiple regression techniques. The following health indicators were used: infant mortality rate; standardized mortality rate; life expectancy at birth; and homicide rate among 15-29-year-old males. Patterns of income inequality were assessed through income distribution indicators: Gini index, Robin Hood index, and top 10 %/bottom 40% average income ratio. The results indicate significant correlations between income distribution indicators and health indicators, providing additional empirical evidence of the association between health status and income inequality. For the homicide rate, the effect of the indicator "density of slum residents" was also relevant, suggesting that further deterioration in health standards may be due to social disruption of deprived communities and the resultant increase in criminal activity. The geo-epidemiological analysis presented here highlights the association between adverse health outcomes and residential concentration of poverty. Social policies focused on slum residents are needed to reduce the harmful effects of relative deprivation.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The reduction of health inequalities is a focus of many national and international health organisations. The need for pragmatic evidence-based approaches has led to the development of a number of evidence-based equity initiatives. This paper describes a new program that focuses upon evidence- based tools, which are useful for policy initiatives that reduce inequities. Methods This paper is based on a presentation that was given at the "Regional Consultation on Policy Tools: Equity in Population Health Reports," held in Toronto, Canada in June 2002. Results Five assessment tools were presented. 1. A database of systematic reviews on the effects of educational, legal, social, and health interventions to reduce unfair inequalities is being established through the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations. 2 Decision aids and shared decision making can be facilitated in disadvantaged groups by 'health coaches' to help people become better decision makers, negotiators, and navigators of the health system; a pilot study in Chile has provided proof of this concept. 3. The CIET Cycle: Combining adapted cluster survey techniques with qualitative methods, CIET's population based applications support evidence-based decision making at local and national levels. The CIET map generates maps directly from survey or routine institutional data, to be used as evidence-based decisions aids. Complex data can be displayed attractively, providing an important tool for studying and comparing health indicators among and between different populations. 4. The Ottawa Equity Gauge is applying the Global Equity Gauge Alliance framework to an industrialised country setting. 5 The Needs-Based Health Assessment Toolkit, established to assemble information on which clinical and health policy decisions can be based, is being expanded to ensure a focus on distribution and average health indicators. Conclusion Evidence-based planning tools have much to offer the
Sandra Rodríguez Acosta
Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine independent of the individual socioeconomic status, the effect of the contextual economic conditions on the self-rated health and, second, to explore region-level mechanisms that could explain the influence of the structural economic conditions on the low self-rated health status. For this, we use a multilevel analysis that allows us to distinguish between the individual and the contextual factors influencing the self-rated health. The results show that the socioeconomic status is an important determinant of the self-rated health of population in Colombia. However, significant differences remain in the health perception, even after controlling for individual wealth, education level and ethnicity. These differences only disappear when controlling for income inequality in the analysis.
Nielsen, Morten Ebbe Juul; Landes, Xavier
Status inequalities seem to play a fairly big role in creating inequalities in health. This article assumes that there can be good reasons to fight status inequalities in order to reduce inequalities in health. It examines whether the neorepublican ideal of non-dominance does a better job...
Conclusions: Between 2006 and 2012, trends in health inequalities attributable to informal care show different trends according to gender and share of responsibility. It is necessary to redesign and implement policies to reduce inequalities that take into account the most affected groups, such as women lone carers. Policies that strengthen the fair social distribution of care should also be adopted.
Sander K R van Zon
Full Text Available The magnitude of socioeconomic health inequalities differs across age groups. It is less clear whether socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by other factors that are known to affect the relation between socioeconomic position and health, like the indicator of socioeconomic position, the health outcome, gender, and as to whether socioeconomic health inequalities are measured in absolute or in relative terms. The aim is to investigate whether absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender.The study sample was derived from the baseline measurement of the LifeLines Cohort Study and consisted of 95,432 participants. Socioeconomic position was measured as educational level and household income. Physical and mental health were measured with the RAND-36. Age concerned eleven 5-years age groups. Absolute inequalities were examined by comparing means. Relative inequalities were examined by comparing Gini-coefficients. Analyses were performed for both health outcomes by both educational level and household income. Analyses were performed for all age groups, and stratified by gender.Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome, and gender. Absolute inequalities were most pronounced for mental health by household income. They were larger in younger than older age groups. Relative inequalities were most pronounced for physical health by educational level. Gini-coefficients were largest in young age groups and smallest in older age groups.Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed cross-sectionally across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender. Researchers should critically consider the implications of choosing a specific age group, in addition to the indicator of socioeconomic position and
This paper describes and critiques the income inequality approach to health inequalities. It then presents an alternative class-based model through a focus on the causes and not only the consequences of income inequalities. In this model, the relationship between income inequality and health appears as a special case within a broader causal chain. It is argued that global and national socio-political-economic trends have increased the power of business classes and lowered that of working classes. The neo-liberal policies accompanying these trends led to increased income inequality but also poverty and unequal access to many other health-relevant resources. But international pressures towards neo-liberal doctrines and policies are differentially resisted by various nations because of historically embedded variation in class and institutional structures. Data presented indicates that neo-liberalism is associated with greater poverty and income inequalities, and greater health inequalities within nations. Furthermore, countries with Social Democratic forms of welfare regimes (i.e., those that are less neo-liberal) have better health than do those that are more neo-liberal. The paper concludes with discussion of what further steps are needed to "go beyond" the income inequality hypothesis towards consideration of a broader set of the social determinants of health.
Ridde, Valéry; Guichard, Anne; Houéto, David
The authors set out to show that the Ottawa Charter of 1986 has not been sufficiently accepted over the past twenty years, even by those who use it as a strategic tool to guide interventions for reducing social inequalities in health. Although some public health policies do emphasize the reduction of social inequalities in health, only the Ottawa Charter appears to possess the status of an international declaration on the matter. Social inequalities in health are the systematic, avoidable, and unjust differences in health that persist between individuals and sub-groups of a population. Four examples from the field of health promotion serve to show that forgetting to combat social inequalities in health is not exclusive to the domain of public health. However, taking action against social inequalities in health does not equal tackling poverty. Moreover, intervening on the principle of equality of opportunity, on the basis of an ideology of meritocracy, or for the benefit of the population as a whole, without regard to sub-groups, only tends, at best, to reproduce inequalities. Although evidence is insufficient, there are studies that show that reducing social inequalities in health is not an aporia. Three explanations are advanced as to why social inequalities in health have been ignored by health promotion professionals. The Ottawa Charter had the merit of highlighting the struggle against social inequalities in health. Now, moving beyond the declarations, from the strategic framework provided by the Ottawa Charter and in accordance with the Bangkok Charter, it is time to show proof of voluntarism. Several priorities for the future are suggested and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) should be responsible for advocating for them.
Blok, David J; de Vlas, Sake J; Bakker, Roel; van Lenthe, Frank J
Individual and environmental factors dynamically interact in shaping income inequalities in healthy food consumption. The agent-based model, Health Behaviors Simulation (HEBSIM), was developed to describe income inequalities in healthy food consumption. It simulates interactions between households and their environment. HEBSIM was used to explore the impact of interventions aimed at reducing food consumption inequalities. HEBSIM includes households and food outlets. Households are characterized by location, composition, income, and preference for food. Decisions about where to shop for food (fruit/vegetable stores, supermarkets, or discount supermarkets) and whether to visit fast food outlets are based on distance, price, and food preference. Food outlets can close and new food outlets can enter the system. Three interventions to reduce healthy food consumption inequalities were tested: (1) eliminating residential segregation; (2) lowering the prices of healthy food; and (3) providing health education. HEBSIM was quantified using data from Statistics Netherlands, Statistics Eindhoven, and the GLOBE study (2011). The model mimicked food consumption in Eindhoven. High-income households visited healthy food shops more often than low-income households. Eliminating residential segregation had the largest impact in reducing income inequalities in food consumption, but resulted partly from a worsening in healthy food consumption in high-income households. Lowering prices and health education could also substantially reduce inequalities. Most interventions took 5-10 years to reach their (almost) full effects. HEBSIM is a promising tool for studying dynamic interactions between households and their environment and for assessing the impact of interventions on income inequalities in food consumption. Copyright © 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Background As reducing socio-economic inequalities in health is an important public health objective, monitoring of these inequalities is an important public health task. The specific inequality measure used can influence the conclusions drawn, and there is no consensus on which measure is most meaningful. The key issue raising most debate is whether to use relative or absolute inequality measures. Our paper aims to inform this debate and develop recommendations for monitoring health inequalities on the basis of empirical analyses for a broad range of developing countries. Methods Wealth-group specific data on under-5 mortality, immunisation coverage, antenatal and delivery care for 43 countries were obtained from the Demographic and Health Surveys. These data were used to describe the association between the overall level of these outcomes on the one hand, and relative and absolute poor-rich inequalities in these outcomes on the other. Results We demonstrate that the values that the absolute and relative inequality measures can take are bound by mathematical ceilings. Yet, even where these ceilings do not play a role, the magnitude of inequality is correlated with the overall level of the outcome. The observed tendencies are, however, not necessities. There are countries with low mortality levels and low relative inequalities. Also absolute inequalities showed variation at most overall levels. Conclusion Our study shows that both absolute and relative inequality measures can be meaningful for monitoring inequalities, provided that the overall level of the outcome is taken into account. Suggestions are given on how to do this. In addition, our paper presents data that can be used for benchmarking of inequalities in the field of maternal and child health in low and middle-income countries.
Rozendo, Célia Alves; Santos Salas, Anna; Cameron, Brenda
Social and health inequalities are a reality around the world and one of the most important challenges in the current age. Nurse educators can respond to these challenges by incorporating curricular components to identify and intervene in social and health inequalities. To examine how social and health inequalities have been addressed in the nursing curriculum. Informed by the work of Paulo Freire, a critical literature review was performed to examine how social and health inequalities have been addressed in the nursing curriculum. In July 2015, we searched for articles published from 2000 to 2015 in ERIC, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scielo, MEDLINE and LILACS databases. Main search terms included "disparity" or "inequality" and "curriculum" and "nursing." We included studies published in academic journals in English, Portuguese and Spanish. A total of 20 articles were included in this review. Most of the articles (15) were from the United States and described educational experiences in implementing courses in nursing undergraduate curricula. Limited experiences with graduate nursing education were identified. Social and health inequalities were approached in these articles through elements such as social justice, cultural competence, cultural safety, and advocacy. A concern to reduce social and health disparities was noted. We identified three major themes in the articles included in this review: 1) elements in the curricula that can contribute to reducing social and health inequalities; 2) educational and research strategies used to address the theme of inequalities; 3) a focus on socially vulnerable populations to increase awareness on social and health inequalities. Findings suggest that nursing education initiatives align with the recommendations from the World Health Organization to address disparities. There is also a need to identify existing conceptual and practical content on inequalities in the nursing curriculum through future research. Copyright © 2016
van Zon, Sander K. R.; Bultmann, Ute; de Leon, Carlos F. Mendes; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.
Background The magnitude of socioeconomic health inequalities differs across age groups. It is less clear whether socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by other factors that are known to affect the relation between socioeconomic position and health, like the indicator of
van Zon, Sander K. R.; Bultmann, Ute; de Leon, Carlos F. Mendes; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.
Background The magnitude of socioeconomic health inequalities differs across age groups. It is less clear whether socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by other factors that are known to affect the relation between socioeconomic position and health, like the indicator of socioec
Speybroeck, Niko; Paraje, Guillermo; Prasad, Amit; Goovaerts, Pierre; Ebener, Steeve; Evans, David B
This article discusses options to allow comparative analysis of inequalities in the distribution of health workers (HWs) across and within countries using a single summary measure of the distribution. Income inequality generally is measured across individuals, but inequalities in the dispersion of HWs must use geographical areas or population groupings as units of analysis. The article first shows how this change of observational unit creates a resolution problem for various inequality indices and then tests how sensitive a simple ratio measure of the distribution of HWs is to changes in resolution. This ratio of inequality is illustrated first with the global distribution of HWs and then with its distributions within Indonesia. The resolution problem is not solved through this new approach, and indicators of inequalities of access to HWs or health services more generally appear not to be comparable across countries. Investigating geographical inequalities over time in one setting is possible but only if the units of analysis remain the same over time.
Eckenwiler, Lisa; Straehle, Christine; Chung, Ryoa
The grounds for global solidarity have been theorized and conceptualized in recent years, and many have argued that we need a global concept of solidarity. But the question remains: what can motivate efforts of the international community and nation-states? Our focus is the grounding of solidarity with respect to global inequities in health. We explore what considerations could motivate acts of global solidarity in the specific context of health migration, and sketch briefly what form this kind of solidarity could take. First, we argue that the only plausible conceptualization of persons highlights their interdependence. We draw upon a conception of persons as 'ecological subjects' and from there illustrate what such a conception implies with the example of nurses migrating from low and middle-income countries to more affluent ones. Next, we address potential critics who might counter any such understanding of current international politics with a reference to real-politik and the insights of realist international political theory. We argue that national governments--while not always or even often motivated by moral reasons alone--may nevertheless be motivated to acts of global solidarity by prudential arguments. Solidarity then need not be, as many argue, a function of charitable inclination, or emergent from an acknowledgment of injustice suffered, but may in fact serve national and transnational interests. We conclude on a positive note: global solidarity may be conceptualized to helpfully address global health inequity, to the extent that personal and transnational interdependence are enough to motivate national governments into action.
De Vito, Corrado; Massimi, Azzurra; Di Thiene, Domitilla; Rosso, Annalisa; D'Andrea, Elvira; Vacchio, Maria Rosaria; Villari, Paolo; Marzuillo, Carolina
Health promotion and prevention activities should tackle health inequalities to reduce disparities in health among disadvantaged populations. This study aimed to assess the extent to which the Italian Regions considered health inequalities during the planning of prevention activities, to detect geographical differences and to identify the possible determinants of differences in attention to health inequalities. The 19 Regional Prevention Plans (RPPs) developed by Italian Regions within the National Prevention Plan (NPP) 2010-2013 were assessed using a specific tool to address the level of attention to health inequalities. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify regional characteristics associated with a higher level of attention to health inequalities. Of the 702 projects included in the 19 RPPs, only 56 (8.0 %) specifically addressed issues related to health inequalities. The results of the multivariate analysis showed that a higher level of attention was associated with the macroarea of intervention 'prevention in high-risk groups', with the higher quality of the Strategic Plan Section of the RPP and with the higher percentage of migrants in the Region in 2010. Moreover, projects that addressed the topic of health inequalities were more likely to be developed in the Northern Regions, in Regions with a lower level of 'linking social capital' and with a Higher Regional Health Care Expenditure (RHCE) as a percentage of Regional Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) in 2010. The level of attention to health inequalities in the regional planning process of prevention activities 2010-2013 in Italy is low. The results of this study supported the new round of prevention planning in Italy, and highlight the urgent need to increase the number of policies and interventions able to reduce health inequalities.
A key policy objective in OECD countries is to achieve adequate access to health care for all people on the basis of need. Previous studies have shown that there are inequities in health care services utilisation (HCSU) in the OECD area. In recent years, measures have been taken to enhance health care access. This paper re-examines income-related inequities in doctor visits among 18 selected OECD countries, updating previous results for 12 countries with 2006-2009 data, and including six new countries. Inequalities in preventive care services are also considered for the first time. The indirect standardisation procedure is used to estimate the need-adjusted HCSU and concentration indexes are derived to gauge inequalities and inequities. Overall, inequities in HCSU remain present in OECD countries. In most countries, for the same health care needs, people with higher incomes are more likely to consult a doctor than those with lower incomes. Pro-rich inequalities in dental visits and cancer screening uptake are also found in nearly all countries, although the magnitude of these varies among countries. These findings suggest that further monitoring of inequalities is essential in order to assess whether country policy objectives are achieved on a regular basis.
Almeida, C; Travassos, C; Porto, S; Labra, M E
Health sector reform in Brazil built the Unified Health System according to a dense body of administrative instruments for organizing decentralized service networks and institutionalizing a complex decision-making arena. This article focuses on the equity in health care services. Equity is defined as a principle governing distributive functions designed to reduce or offset socially unjust inequalities, and it is applied to evaluate the distribution of financial resources and the use of health services. Even though in the Constitution the term "equity" refers to equal opportunity of access for equal needs, the implemented policies have not guaranteed these rights. Underfunding, fiscal stress, and lack of priorities for the sector have contributed to a progressive deterioration of health care services, with continuing regressive tax collection and unequal distribution of financial resources among regions. The data suggest that despite regulatory measures to increase efficiency and reduce inequalities, delivery of health care services remains extremely unequal across the country. People in lower income groups experience more difficulties in getting access to health services. Utilization rates vary greatly by type of service among income groups, positions in the labor market, and levels of education.
Madsen, Jacob; Kanstrup, Anne Marie; Josephsson, Staffan
Background: Occupational science and therapy scholars have argued that research on inequality in health is needed. Simultaneously, a knowledge gap between how to understand and take action on health inequalities exists in occupational science and therapy. Objective: To identify how inequality...... in health, high-risk areas of health, and engagement in health for low-income adult citizens have been described and conceptualized in contemporary occupational science and therapy literature. Material and methods: A structured literature review of 37 publications in occupational science and therapy...... on assumptions regarding the relation between occupation and inequality in health, and statements on the need to explore this relation. Conclusion: Basic theory and reasoning, as well as empirical studies, on inequality in health are missing in occupational science and therapy. Based on the findings...
Madsen, Jacob Østergaard; Kanstrup, Anne Marie; Josephsson, Staffan
Background: Occupational science and therapy scholars have argued that research on inequality in health is needed. Simultaneously, a knowledge gap between how to understand and take action on health inequalities exists in occupational science and therapy. Objective: To identify how inequality...... in health, high-risk areas of health, and engagement in health for low-income adult citizens have been described and conceptualized in contemporary occupational science and therapy literature. Material and methods: A structured literature review of 37 publications in occupational science and therapy...... on assumptions regarding the relation between occupation and inequality in health, and statements on the need to explore this relation. Conclusion: Basic theory and reasoning, as well as empirical studies, on inequality in health are missing in occupational science and therapy. Based on the findings...
H. van de Mheen (Dike)
textabstractPeople in lower socia-economic positions are generally worse off with respect to their health than people in higher positions. These so-called socia-economic inequalities in health exist from birth to death, in youth, adulthood and in old age. Socia-economic inequalities in health in
This paper examines the relationship between the inequality in workplace conditions and health-related outcomes in Japan. It analyzes the effect of changes in the work conditions and work arrangements on the subjective health, activity restriction, and depression symptoms, using the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey (JLPS). The 2007 JLPS consists of nationally representative sample of the youth (20 to 34 yr old) and the middle-aged (35 to 40 yr old). The original respondents were followed up in 2008, and 2,719 respondents for the youth panel and 1,246 for the middle-aged panel returned the questionnaires. The first major conclusion is that there are substantial changes in health conditions between the two waves even though the distributions of health-related outcomes are very similar at two time points. The second major conclusion is that the effects of work conditions depend on different health-related outcomes. Self-reported health and depression symptoms are affected by a variety of job-related factors. The atmosphere of helping each other and the control over the pace of work are two important factors which affect both depression and self-reported health. All these findings suggest that the workplace conditions and job characteristics have profound influence on the workers' health.
Oshio, Takashi; Kobayashi, Miki
In this study we conduct a multilevel analysis to investigate the association between regional income inequality and self-rated health in Japan, based on two nationwide surveys. We confirm that there is a significant association between area-level income inequality and individual-level health assessment. We also find that health assessment tends to be more sensitive to income inequality among lower income individuals, and to degree of area-level poverty, than income inequality for the society as a whole. In addition, we examine how individuals are averse to inequality, based on the observed association between inequality and self-rated health.
J.P. Mackenbach (Johan); I. Stirbu (Irina); A-J.R. Roskam (Albert-Jan); M.M. Schaap (Maartje); G. Menvielle (Gwenn); M. Leinsalu (Mall); A.E. Kunst (Anton)
textabstractBACKGROUND: Comparisons among countries can help to identify opportunities for the reduction of inequalities in health. We compared the magnitude of inequalities in mortality and self-assessed health among 22 countries in all parts of Europe. METHODS: We obtained data on mortality
This study examines the long-term unemployment rate and various health outcomes across Canadian communities to estimate employment-related health inequalities in these communities. The study uses cross-sectional community-level health data along with data on the long-term employment rate for various communities across Canada to quantify health inequalities among these communities. The health outcomes that are considered in this study include total and disease specific mortality rates; health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, injuries, and self rated health; and life expectancies at birth and at age 65. Health inequalities are estimated using the concentration index, which is used to measure health inequalities along socioeconomic dimensions. The concentration index is estimated by a regression of weighted relative health (ill health) over weighted cumulative relative rank of the populations. All the estimates are provided separately for males and females. The findings of the study support the existence of inequalities in community health outcomes as related to the long-term employment rates in those communities. Communities with lower long term employment rates (higher unemployment rates) have poorer health outcomes in terms of higher mortality rates, worse health conditions, and shorter life expectancies. Health inequalities related to long-term employment have important policy implications. They call for policies that would increase and maintain long term employment rates as part of a broader socioeconomic approach to health. Long term employment ensures income security and prevents the psychosocial experiences leading to mental and physical ill health.
Lahelma, Eero; Kivelä, Katariina; Roos, Eva
a period of deep economic recession and a large increase in unemployment, particularly in Finland and Sweden, health inequalities by employment status and education remained broadly unchanged in all Nordic countries. Thus, during this fairly short period health inequalities in these countries were...... not strongly influenced by changes in other structural inequalities, in particular labour market inequalities. Institutional arrangements in the Nordic welfare states, including social benefits and services, were cut during the recession but nevertheless broadly remained, and are likely to have buffered...
Auger, Nathalie; Raynault, Marie-France
The association between social determinants and health inequalities is well recognized. What are now needed are tools to assist in disseminating such information. This article describes how the Balanced Scorecard may be used for summarizing data on health inequalities. The process begins by selecting appropriate social groups and indicators, and is followed by the measurement of differences across person, place, or time. The next step is to decide whether to focus on absolute versus relative inequality. The last step is to determine the scoring method, including whether to address issues of depth of inequality.
Makdissi, Paul; Yazbeck, Myra
While many of the measurement approaches in health inequality measurement assume the existence of a ratio-scale variable, most of the health information available in population surveys is given in the form of categorical variables. Therefore, the well-known inequality indices may not always be readily applicable to measure health inequality as it may result in the arbitrariness of the health concentration index's value. In this paper, we address this problem by changing the dimension in which the categorical information is used. We therefore exploit the multi-dimensionality of this information, define a new ratio-scale health status variable and develop positional stochastic dominance conditions that can be implemented in a context of categorical variables. We also propose a parametric class of population health and socioeconomic health inequality indices. Finally we provide a twofold empirical illustration using the Joint Canada/United States Surveys of Health 2004 and the National Health Interview Survey 2010.
Danielle R. Brittain
Full Text Available Background. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB college students may have an increased number of health inequities compared to their heterosexual counterparts. However, to date, no research has provided a comprehensive examination of health-related factors by sexual orientation identity and sex among a national sample of college students. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine physical, sexual, interpersonal relations/safety, and mental health inequities by sexual orientation identity and sex among a national sample of college students. Design and methods. Participants (n=39,767 completed the National College Health Assessment II during the fall 2008/spring 2009 academic year. Hierarchical binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine health inequities by sexual orientation identity and sex. Results. LGB students compared to heterosexual students, experienced multiple health inequities including higher rates of being verbally threatened and lower rates of physical activity and condom use. Conclusions. An understanding of health inequities experienced by LGB college students is critical as during these years of transition, students engage in protective (e.g., physical activity and risky (e.g., lack of condom use health behaviours, establishing habits that could last a lifetime. Future research should be used to design and implement targeted public health strategies and policies to reduce health inequities and improve health-related quality of life among LGB college students.
Oliver, Adam; Brown, Lawrence D
Health inequalities and user financial incentives to encourage health-related behavior change are two topical issues in the health policy discourse, and this article attempts to combine the two; namely, we try to address whether the latter can be used to reduce the former in the contexts of the United Kingdom and the United States. Payments for some aspects of medical adherence may offer a promising way to address, to some extent, inequalities in health and health care in both countries. However, payments for more sustained behavior change, such as that associated with smoking cessation and weight loss, have thus far shown little long-term effect, although more research that tests the effectiveness of different incentive mechanism designs, informed by the findings of behavioral economics, ought to be undertaken. Many practical, political, ethical, and ideological objections can be waged against user financial incentives in health, and this article reviews a number of them, but the justifiability of and limits to these incentives require more academic and public discourse so as to gain a better understanding of the circumstances in which they can legitimately be used.
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Gendered practices of working life create gender inequalities through horizontal and vertical gender segregation in work, which may lead to inequalities in health between women and men. Gender equality could therefore be a key element of health equity in working life. Our aim was to analyze what gender (inequality means for the employees at a woman-dominated workplace and discuss possible implications for health experiences. Methods All caregiving staff at two workplaces in elder care within a municipality in the north of Sweden were invited to participate in the study. Forty-five employees participated, 38 women and 7 men. Seven focus group discussions were performed and led by a moderator. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the focus groups. Results We identified two themes. "Advocating gender equality in principle" showed how gender (inequality was seen as a structural issue not connected to the individual health experiences. "Justifying inequality with individualism" showed how the caregivers focused on personalities and interests as a justification of gender inequalities in work division. The justification of gender inequality resulted in a gendered work division which may be related to health inequalities between women and men. Gender inequalities in work division were primarily understood in terms of personality and interests and not in terms of gender. Conclusion The health experience of the participants was affected by gender (inequality in terms of a gendered work division. However, the participants did not see the gendered work division as a gender equality issue. Gender perspectives are needed to improve the health of the employees at the workplaces through shifting from individual to structural solutions. A healthy-setting approach considering gender relations is needed to achieve gender equality and fairness in health status between women and men.
Blakely, T A; Kennedy, B P; Kawachi, I
This study tested the hypothesis that disparities in political participation across socioeconomic status affect health. Specifically, the association of voting inequality at the state level with individual self-rated health was examined. A multilevel study of 279,066 respondents to the Current Population Survey (CPS) was conducted. State-level inequality in voting turnout by socioeconomic status (family income and educational attainment) was derived from November CPS data for 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996. Individuals living in the states with the highest voting inequality had an odds ratio of fair/poor self-rated health of 1.43 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22, 1.68) compared with individuals living in the states with the lowest voting inequality. This odds ratio decreased to 1.34 (95% CI = 1.14, 1.56) when state income inequality was added and to 1.27 (95% CI = 1.10, 1.45) when state median income was included. The deleterious effect of low individual household income on self-rated health was most pronounced among states with the greatest voting and income inequality. Socioeconomic inequality in political participation (as measured by voter turnout) is associated with poor self-rated health, independently of both income inequality and state median household income.
This essay argues that work, and the socioeconomic class polarities it creates, plays a fundamental role in determining inequalities in the distribution of morbidity and mortality. This is by means of uneven exposure to physical hazards and psychosocial risks in the workplace, as well as by inequalities in exclusion from the labour market and the absence of paid work. Furthermore, this essay shows that the relationships between work, worklessness and health inequalities are influenced by the broader political and economic context in the form of welfare state regimes. This leads to the development of a model of the political economy of health inequalities, and how different types of public policy interventions can mitigate these relationships. This model is then applied to the case of work and worklessness. The essay concludes by arguing that politics matters in the aetiology of health inequalities.
Lahelma, Eero; Kivelä, Katariina; Roos, Eva
This study examined changes over time in relative health inequalities among men and women in four Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A serious economic recession burst out in the early 1990s particularly in Finland and Sweden. We ask whether this adverse social structural...... not strongly influenced by changes in other structural inequalities, in particular labour market inequalities. Institutional arrangements in the Nordic welfare states, including social benefits and services, were cut during the recession but nevertheless broadly remained, and are likely to have buffered......'development influenced health inequalities by employment status and educational attainment, i.e. whether the trends in health inequalities were similar or dissimilar between the Nordic countries. The data derived from comparable interview surveys carried out in 1986/87 and 1994/95 in the four countries. Limiting long...
A new set of 11 global health studies calls attention to the burden of tobacco-related inequalities in low- and middle-income countries and finds that socioeconomic inequalities are associated with increased tobacco use, second-hand smoke exposure and tob
Andress, Lauri; Fitch, Cindy
Health inequities affect communities through adverse health outcomes, lost productivity, and increased health care costs. They arise from unequal distribution of social determinants of health--the conditions in which people are born and live. Health outcomes, tied to behaviors and health care, also are rooted in location and social status.…
This article articulates the theoretical construct of empowerment and its importance for health-enhancing strategies to reduce health disparities. Powerlessness is explored as a risk factor in the context of social determinants, such as poverty, discrimination, workplace hazards, and income inequities. Empowerment is presented and compared with social capital and community capacity as strategies to strengthen social protective factors. A case study of a youth empowerment and policy project in New Mexico illustrates the usefulness of empowerment strategies in both targeting social determinants, such as public policies which are detrimental to youth, and improving community capacities of youth to be advocates for social change. Challenges for future practice and research are articulated.
Full Text Available Conferences organized by professional societies provide scientists and professionals with an excellent opportunity to disseminate their work, network with like-minded researchers, and form collaborative relationships for future endeavors. However, these opportunities are rarely distributed equally between women and men in science. Addressing gender inequity should be a primary consideration for all societies hosting conferences. Yet, many STEM conferences are struggling with gender biases and the understanding that gender inequity also applies to non-binary gender and overlapping social identities. At the Society for Conservation Biology's 4th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4, “Promoting the Participation of Women at Science Conferences” was one of four focus groups of the Diversity Focus Group Series. This paper outlines 10 feasible intervention strategies delineated during the Women at Science Conferences focus group discussion as positive encouragement for professional societies to continue toward gender equity. The 10 interventions to reduce gender inequity at conferences include adopting community principles and a Code of Conduct, appointing a Safety Officer, requiring a registration honor system pledge and conduct surveys, offering a mentorship program, organizing focus groups, giving benefits for participating in diversity programming, assisting with child care, proffering travel grants, providing badges on lanyards, and randomizing the conference program. These strategies are intended to reduce participation barriers for women scientists at conferences, and range in the amount of planning they require to provide options for all societies regardless of their fiscal or labor capacity.
Bor, Jacob; Cohen, Gregory H; Galea, Sandro
Income inequality in the USA has increased over the past four decades. Socioeconomic gaps in survival have also increased. Life expectancy has risen among middle-income and high-income Americans whereas it has stagnated among poor Americans and even declined in some demographic groups. Although the increase in income inequality since 1980 has been driven largely by soaring top incomes, the widening of survival inequalities has occurred lower in the distribution-ie, between the poor and upper-middle class. Growing survival gaps across income percentiles since 2001 reflect falling real incomes among poor Americans as well as an increasingly strong association between low income and poor health. Changes in individual risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and substance abuse play a part but do not fully explain the steeper gradient. Distal factors correlated with rising inequality including unequal access to technological innovations, increased geographical segregation by income, reduced economic mobility, mass incarceration, and increased exposure to the costs of medical care might have reduced access to salutary determinants of health among low-income Americans. Having missed out on decades of income growth and longevity gains, low-income Americans are increasingly left behind. Without interventions to decouple income and health, or to reduce inequalities in income, we might see the emergence of a 21st century health-poverty trap and the further widening and hardening of socioeconomic inequalities in health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Andersen, Martin Marchman; Dalton, Susanne Oksbjerg; Johansen, Christoffer
. Thus, to the extent that lifestyles are in fact results of free choices, social inequality in health brought about by these choices is not in tension with egalitarian justice. If this is so, then it may put in question the justification of free and equal access to health care and existing medical......Are social inequalities in health unjust when brought about by differences in lifestyle? A widespread idea, luck egalitarianism, is that inequality stemming from individuals’ free choices is not to be considered unjust, since individuals, presumably, are themselves responsible for such choices...
Several Latin American countries are implementing a suite of so-called "postneoliberal" social and political economic policies to counter neoliberal models that emerged in the 1980s. This article considers the influence of postneoliberalism on public health discourses, policies, institutions, and practices in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Social medicine and neoliberal public health models are antecedents of postneoliberal public health care models. Postneoliberal public health governance models neither fully incorporate social medicine nor completely reject neoliberal models. Postneoliberal reforms may provide an alternative means of reducing health inequalities and improving population health.
Full Text Available Abstract Background With the date for achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs approaching fast, there is a heightened concern about equity, as inequities hamper progress towards the MDGs. Equity-focused approaches have the potential to accelerate the progress towards achieving the health-related MDGs faster than the current pace in a more cost-effective and sustainable manner. Ghana's rate of progress towards MDGs 4 and 5 related to reducing child and maternal mortality respectively is less than what is required to achieve the targets. The objective of this paper is to examine the equity dimension of child and maternal health outcomes and interventions using Ghana as a case study. Methods Data from Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2008 report is analyzed for inequities in selected maternal and child health outcomes and interventions using population-weighted, regression-based measures: slope index of inequality and relative index of inequality. Results No statistically significant inequities are observed in infant and under-five mortality, perinatal mortality, wasting and acute respiratory infection in children. However, stunting, underweight in under-five children, anaemia in children and women, childhood diarrhoea and underweight in women (BMI Conclusion Significant Inequities are observed in many of the selected child and maternal health outcomes and interventions. Failure to address these inequities vigorously is likely to lead to non-achievement of the MDG targets related to improving child and maternal health (MDGs 4 and 5. The government should therefore give due attention to tackling inequities in health outcomes and use of interventions by implementing equity-enhancing measure both within and outside the health sector in line with the principles of Primary Health Care and the recommendations of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.
Ebi, Kristie L; Fawcett, Stephen B; Spiegel, Jerry; Tovalin, Horacio
Climate change is a social justice as well as an environmental issue. The magnitude and pattern of changes in weather and climate variables are creating differential exposures, vulnerabilities, and health risks that increase stress on health systems while exacerbating existing and creating new health inequities. Examples from national and local health adaptation projects highlight that developing partnerships across sectors and levels are critical for building climate-resilient health systems and communities. Strengthening current and implementing new health interventions, such as using environmental information to develop early warning systems, can be effective in protecting the most vulnerable. However, not all projected risks of climate change can be avoided by climate policies and programs, so health system strengthening is also critical. Applying a health inequity lens can reduce current vulnerabilities while building resilience to longer-term climate change. Taking inequities into account is critical if societies are to effectively prepare for and manage the challenges ahead.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Health inequality has been recognized as a problem all over the world. In China, the poor usually have less access to healthcare than the better-off, despite having higher levels of need. Since the proportion of the Chinese population living in urban areas increased tremendously with the urbanization movements, attention has been paid to the association between urban/rural residence and population health. It is important to understand the variation in health across income groups, and in particular to take into account the effects of urban/rural residence on the degree of income-related health inequalities. Methods This paper empirically assesses the magnitude of rural/urban disparities in income-related adult health status, i.e., self-assessed health (SAH and physical activity limitation, using Concentration Indices. It then uses decomposition methods to unravel the causes of inequalities and their variations across urban and rural populations. Data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS 2006 are used. Results The study finds that the poor are less likely to report their health status as “excellent or good” and are more likely to have physical activity limitation. Such inequality is more pronounced for the urban population than for the rural population. Results from the decomposition analysis suggest that, for the urban population, 76.47 per cent to 79.07 per cent of inequalities are driven by non-demographic/socioeconomic-related factors, among which income, job status and educational level are the most important factors. For the rural population, 48.19 per cent to 77.78 per cent of inequalities are driven by non-demographic factors. Income and educational attainment appear to have a prominent influence on inequality. Conclusion The findings suggest that policy targeting the poor, especially the urban poor, is needed in order to reduce health inequality.
Andersen, Martin Marchman; Dalton, Susanne Oksbjerg; Johansen, Christoffer;
Are social inequalities in health unjust when brought about by differences in lifestyle? A widespread idea, luck egalitarianism, is that inequality stemming from individuals’ free choices is not to be considered unjust, since individuals, presumably, are themselves responsible for such choices....... Thus, to the extent that lifestyles are in fact results of free choices, social inequality in health brought about by these choices is not in tension with egalitarian justice. If this is so, then it may put in question the justification of free and equal access to health care and existing medical...... not fully establish - that at the most fundamental level people are never responsible in such a way that appeals to individuals’ own responsibility can justify inequalities in health....
Nowatzki, Nadine R
Despite a plethora of studies on income inequality and health, researchers have been unable to make any firm conclusions as a result of methodological and theoretical limitations. Within this body of research, there has been a call for studies of wealth inequality and health. Wealth is far more unequally distributed than income and is conceptually unique from income. This paper discusses the results of bivariate cross-sectional analyses of the relationship between wealth inequality (Gini coefficient) and population health (life expectancy and infant mortality) in 14 wealthy countries. The results confirm that wealth inequality is associated with poor population health. Both unweighted and weighted correlations between wealth inequality and health are strong and significant, even after controlling for a variety of potential aggregate-level confounders, including gross domestic product per capita, and after excluding the United States, the most unequal country. The results are strongest for female life expectancy and infant mortality. The author outlines potential pathways through which wealth inequality might affect health, using specific countries to illustrate. The article concludes with policy recommendations that could contribute to a more equitable distribution of wealth and, ultimately, decreased health disparities.
Harper, Sam; King, Nicholas B; Meersman, Stephen C; E Reichman, Marsha; Breen, Nancy; Lynch, John
Quantitative estimates of the magnitude, direction, and rate of change of health inequalities play a crucial role in creating and assessing policies aimed at eliminating the disproportionate burden of disease in disadvantaged populations. It is generally assumed that the measurement of health inequalities is a value-neutral process, providing objective data that are then interpreted using normative judgments about whether a particular distribution of health is just, fair, or socially acceptable. We discuss five examples in which normative judgments play a role in the measurement process itself, through either the selection of one measurement strategy to the exclusion of others or the selection of the type, significance, or weight assigned to the variables being measured. Overall, we find that many commonly used measures of inequality are value laden and that the normative judgments implicit in these measures have important consequences for interpreting and responding to health inequalities. Because values implicit in the generation of health inequality measures may lead to radically different interpretations of the same underlying data,we urge researchers to explicitly consider and transparently discuss the normative judgments underlying their measures. We also urge policymakers and other consumers of health inequalities data to pay close attention to the measures on which they base their assessments of current and future health policies.
Harper, Sam; King, Nicholas B; Meersman, Stephen C; Reichman, Marsha E; Breen, Nancy; Lynch, John
Quantitative estimates of the magnitude, direction, and rate of change of health inequalities play a crucial role in creating and assessing policies aimed at eliminating the disproportionate burden of disease in disadvantaged populations. It is generally assumed that the measurement of health inequalities is a value-neutral process, providing objective data that are then interpreted using normative judgments about whether a particular distribution of health is just, fair, or socially acceptable. We discuss five examples in which normative judgments play a role in the measurement process itself, through either the selection of one measurement strategy to the exclusion of others or the selection of the type, significance, or weight assigned to the variables being measured. Overall, we find that many commonly used measures of inequality are value laden and that the normative judgments implicit in these measures have important consequences for interpreting and responding to health inequalities. Because values implicit in the generation of health inequality measures may lead to radically different interpretations of the same underlying data, we urge researchers to explicitly consider and transparently discuss the normative judgments underlying their measures. We also urge policymakers and other consumers of health inequalities data to pay close attention to the measures on which they base their assessments of current and future health policies.
Haider, Mohammad Rifat; Rahman, Mohammad Masudur; Moinuddin, Md; Rahman, Ahmed Ehsanur; Ahmed, Shakil; Khan, M Mahmud
Despite remarkable progress in maternal and child health, inequity persists in maternal care utilization in Bangladesh. Government of Bangladesh (GOB) with technical assistance from United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) started implementing Maternal and Neonatal Health Initiatives in selected districts of Bangladesh (MNHIB) in 2007 with an aim to reduce inequity in healthcare utilization. This study examines the effect of MNHIB on inequity in maternal care utilization. Two surveys were carried out in four districts in Bangladesh- baseline in 2008 and end-line in 2013. The baseline survey collected data from 13,206 women giving birth in the preceding year and in end-line 7,177 women were interviewed. Inequity in maternal healthcare utilization was calculated pre and post-MNHIB using rich-to-poor ratio and concentration index. Mean age of respondents were 23.9 and 24.6 years in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Utilization of pregnancy-related care increased for all socioeconomic strata between these two surveys. The concentration indices (CI) for various maternal health service utilization in 2013 were found to be lower than the indices in 2008. However, in comparison to contemporary BDHS data in nearby districts, MNHIB was successful in reducing inequity in receiving ANC from a trained provider (CI: 0.337 and 0.272), institutional delivery (CI: 0.435 in 2008 to 0.362 in 2013), and delivery by skilled personnel (CI: 0.396 and 0.370). Overall use of maternal health care services increased in post-MNHIB year compared to pre-MNHIB year and inequity in maternal service utilization declined for three indicators out of six considered in the paper. The reductions in CI values for select maternal care indicators imply that the program has been successful not only in improving utilization of maternal health services but also in lowering inequality of service utilization across socioeconomic groups
Gorman, D; Douglas, M J; Conway, L; Noble, P; Hanlon, P
Health impact assessment (HIA) can be used to examine the relationships between inequalities and health. This HIA of Edinburgh's transport policy demonstrates how HIA can examine how different transport policies can affect different population groupings to varying degrees. In this case, Edinburgh's economy is based on tourism, financial services and Government bodies. These need a good transport infrastructure, which maintains a vibrant city centre. A transport policy that promotes walking, cycling and public transport supports this and is also good for health. The HIA suggested that greater spend on public transport and supporting sustainable modes of transport was beneficial to health, and offered scope to reduce inequalities. This message was understood by the City Council and influenced the development of the city's transport and land-use strategies. The paper discusses how HIA can influence public policy.
Flecha, Ainhoa; Garcia, Rocio; Rudd, Rima
Health literacy has firmly established the links between literacy skills and health outcomes and is subsequently considered a key strategy for improving the health of disadvantaged populations and addressing social inequality. However, current research findings for improving health literacy have primarily focused on adults and actions within…
Full Text Available Abstract Background Health inequalities have been extensively documented, internationally and in New Zealand. The cost of reducing health inequities is often perceived as high; however, recent international studies suggest the cost of “doing nothing” is itself significant. This study aimed to develop a preliminary estimate of the economic cost of health inequities between Māori (indigenous and non-Māori children in New Zealand. Methods Standard quantitative epidemiological methods and “cost of illness” methodology were employed, within a Kaupapa Māori theoretical framework. Data were obtained from national data collections held by the New Zealand Health Information Service and other health sector agencies. Results Preliminary estimates suggest child health inequities between Māori and non-Māori in New Zealand are cost-saving to the health sector. However the societal costs are significant. A conservative “base case” scenario estimate is over $NZ62 million per year, while alternative costing methods yield larger costs of nearly $NZ200 million per annum. The total cost estimate is highly sensitive to the costing method used and Value of Statistical Life applied, as the cost of potentially avoidable deaths of Māori children is the major contributor to this estimate. Conclusions This preliminary study suggests that health sector spending is skewed towards non-Māori children despite evidence of greater Māori need. Persistent child health inequities result in significant societal economic costs. Eliminating child health inequities, particularly in primary care access, could result in significant economic benefits for New Zealand. However, there are conceptual, ethical and methodological challenges in estimating the economic cost of child health inequities. Re-thinking of traditional economic frameworks and development of more appropriate methodologies is required.
Louis Kuijs; Tao Wang
This paper uses both macro level and sectoral data to study the sources and pattern of China's impressive economic growth over the last 25years. Extending the growth accounting framework,we show that widening inequality, rural poverty, and resource intensity are to a large extent rooted in China 's growth strategy, and resolving them requires a rebalancing of pohcies. We find that growth of investment in the industrial sector has been the single most important factor driving gross domestic product and overall labor productivity growth since the early 1990s.The shift of labor from low-productivity agriculture has been limited. The productivity gap between agriculture and the rest of the economy has continued to widen, leading to increased rural-urban income inequality. Continuing with the current growth pattern would further increase already high investment and saving needs to unsustainable levels, lower urban employment growth, and widen the rural-urban income gap. However, reducing subsidies to industry and investment, encouraging the development of the services industry, and reducing barriers to labor mobility would result in a more balanced growth and a substantial reduction in the income gap between rural and urban residents.
into account. The boundaries have to be broken down between healthcare and non-health sectors and across home and community settings. Traditional professional “silos” have also to be broken down and coordinated to reduce the inequalities in childhood obesity in order to reap the health gains and economic...
Full Text Available Abstract Background The health status of individuals is determined by multiple factors operating at both micro and macro levels and the interactive effects of them. Measures of health inequalities should reflect such determinants explicitly through sources of levels and combining mean differences at group levels and the variation of individuals, for the benefits of decision making and intervention planning. Measures derived recently from marginal models such as beta-binomial and frailty survival, address this issue to some extent, but are limited in handling data with complex structures. Beta-binomial models were also limited in relation to measuring inequalities of life expectancy (LE directly. Methods We propose a multilevel survival model analysis that estimates life expectancy based on survival time with censored data. The model explicitly disentangles total health inequalities in terms of variance components of life expectancy compared to the source of variation at the level of individuals in households and parishes and so on, and estimates group differences of inequalities at the same time. Adjusted distributions of life expectancy by gender and by household socioeconomic level are calculated. Relative and absolute health inequality indices are derived based on model estimates. The model based analysis is illustrated on a large Swedish cohort of 22,680 men and 26,474 women aged 6569 in 1970 and followed up for 30 years. Model based inequality measures are compared to the conventional calculations. Results Much variation of life expectancy is observed at individual and household levels. Contextual effects at Parish and Municipality level are negligible. Women have longer life expectancy than men and lower inequality. There is marked inequality by the level of household socioeconomic status measured by the median life expectancy in each socio-economic group and the variation in life expectancy within each group. Conclusion Multilevel
Bennett, Charmian M; Friel, Sharon
This paper addresses an often overlooked aspect of climate change impacts on child health: the amplification of existing child health inequities by climate change. Although the effects of climate change on child health will likely be negative, the distribution of these impacts across populations will be uneven. The burden of climate change-related ill-health will fall heavily on the world's poorest and socially-disadvantaged children, who already have poor survival rates and low life expectancies due to issues including poverty, endemic disease, undernutrition, inadequate living conditions and socio-economic disadvantage. Climate change will exacerbate these existing inequities to disproportionately affect disadvantaged children. We discuss heat stress, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases and undernutrition as exemplars of the complex interactions between climate change and inequities in child health.
Charmian M. Bennett
Full Text Available This paper addresses an often overlooked aspect of climate change impacts on child health: the amplification of existing child health inequities by climate change. Although the effects of climate change on child health will likely be negative, the distribution of these impacts across populations will be uneven. The burden of climate change-related ill-health will fall heavily on the world’s poorest and socially-disadvantaged children, who already have poor survival rates and low life expectancies due to issues including poverty, endemic disease, undernutrition, inadequate living conditions and socio-economic disadvantage. Climate change will exacerbate these existing inequities to disproportionately affect disadvantaged children. We discuss heat stress, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases and undernutrition as exemplars of the complex interactions between climate change and inequities in child health.
Lin, Danhua; Li, Xiaoming; Wang, Bo; Hong, Yan; Fang, Xiaoyi; Qin, Xiong; Stanton, Bonita
Status-based discrimination and inequity have been associated with the process of migration, especially with economics-driven internal migration. However, their association with mental health among economy-driven internal migrants in developing countries is rarely assessed. This study examines discriminatory experiences and perceived social inequity in relation to mental health status among rural-to-urban migrants in China. Cross-sectional data were collected from 1,006 rural-to-urban migrants in 2004-2005 in Beijing, China. Participants reported their perceptions and experiences of being discriminated in daily life in urban destination and perceived social inequity. Mental health was measured using the symptom checklist-90 (SCL-90). Multivariate analyses using general linear model were performed to test the effect of discriminatory experience and perceived social inequity on mental health. Experience of discrimination was positively associated with male gender, being married at least once, poorer health status, shorter duration of migration, and middle range of personal income. Likewise, perceived social inequity was associated with poorer health status, higher education attainment, and lower personal income. Multivariate analyses indicate that both experience of discrimination and perceived social inequity were strongly associated with mental health problems of rural-to-urban migrants. Experience of discrimination in daily life and perceived social inequity have a significant influence on mental health among rural-to-urban migrants. The findings underscore the needs to reduce public or societal discrimination against rural-to-urban migrants, to eliminate structural barriers (i.e., dual household registrations) for migrants to fully benefit from the urban economic development, and to create a positive atmosphere to improve migrant's psychological well-being.
Palència, Laia; De Moortel, Deborah; Artazcoz, Lucía; Salvador-Piedrafita, María; Puig-Barrachina, Vanessa; Hagqvist, Emma; Pérez, Glòria; Ruiz, Marisol E; Trujillo-Alemán, Sara; Vanroelen, Christophe; Malmusi, Davide; Borrell, Carme
The aim of this article is to explain the results of the SOPHIE project regarding the effect of gender policies on gender inequalities in health in Europe. We start with the results of a systematic review on how gender regimes and gender equality policies at the country level impact women's health and gender inequalities in health. Then, we report on three empirical analyses on the relationship between different family policy models existing in Europe and gender inequalities in health. Finally we present four case studies on specific examples of gender policies or determinants of gender inequalities in health. The results show that policies that support women's participation in the labor force and decrease their burden of care, such as public services and support for families and entitlements for fathers, are related to lower levels of gender inequality in terms of health. In addition, public services and benefits for disabled and dependent people can reduce the burden placed on family caregivers and hence improve their health. In the context of the current economic crisis, gender equality policies should be maintained or improved. © The Author(s) 2016.
Pons-Vigues, Mariona; Diez, Elia; Morrison, Joana; Salas-Nicas, Sergio; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Burstrom, Bo; van Dijk, Jitse P.; Borrell, Carme
Background: Health inequalities can be tackled with appropriate health and social policies, involving all community groups and governments, from local to global. The objective of this study was to carry out a scoping review on social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities
Full Text Available Background: The emergence and evolution of socioeconomic inequalities in health involves multiple factors interacting with each other at different levels. Simulation models are suitable for studying such complex and dynamic systems and have the ability to test the impact of policy interventions in silico. Objective: To explore how simulation models were used in the field of socioeconomic inequalities in health. Methods: An electronic search of studies assessing socioeconomic inequalities in health using a simulation model was conducted. Characteristics of the simulation models were extracted and distinct simulation approaches were identified. As an illustration, a simple agent-based model of the emergence of socioeconomic differences in alcohol abuse was developed. Results: We found 61 studies published between 1989 and 2013. Ten different simulation approaches were identified. The agent-based model illustration showed that multilevel, reciprocal and indirect effects of social determinants on health can be modeled flexibly. Discussion and Conclusions: Based on the review, we discuss the utility of using simulation models for studying health inequalities, and refer to good modeling practices for developing such models. The review and the simulation model example suggest that the use of simulation models may enhance the understanding and debate about existing and new socioeconomic inequalities of health frameworks.
Ahmad Reza Hosseinpoor
Full Text Available Background: Health equity is a priority in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and other major health initiatives. The World Health Organization (WHO has a history of promoting actions to achieve equity in health, including efforts to encourage the practice of health inequality monitoring. Health inequality monitoring systems use disaggregated data to identify disadvantaged subgroups within populations and inform equity-oriented health policies, programs, and practices. Objective: This paper provides an overview of a number of recent and current WHO initiatives related to health inequality monitoring at the global and/or national level. Design: We outline the scope, content, and intended uses/application of the following: Health Equity Monitor database and theme page; State of inequality: reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health report; Handbook on health inequality monitoring: with a focus on low- and middle-income countries; Health inequality monitoring eLearning module; Monitoring health inequality: an essential step for achieving health equity advocacy booklet and accompanying video series; and capacity building workshops conducted in WHO Member States and Regions. Conclusions: The paper concludes by considering how the work of the WHO can be expanded upon to promote the establishment of sustainable and robust inequality monitoring systems across a variety of health topics among Member States and at the global level.
Bouffard, Léandre; Dubé, Micheline
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the impact of income inequality on various indexes of mental health and on happiness in wealthy nations. Initially, the unequal distribution of income is documented in wealthy nations, especially in the United States of America. After the World War II, income equality was at a level never reached before, but since the eighties, income inequality has raised dramatically in many industrialized countries. The 2008 crisis has worsened the situation in many of them, particularly in the United States. Furthermore, prejudices have increased against women, Blacks, Spanish-speakers and those who receive social welfare. A selective review of the literature is made in order to document the impact of income inequality on a few indicators of mental health (from WHO, UN, UNICEF, OCDE and World Bank) and on happiness, defined here as life satisfaction. Income inequality is positively related to the following indexes: Index of Mental Illness from the WHO (0.73), Index of the United Nations' Office on Drug Consumption (0.63) and a composite Index of ten psychosocial problems, constituted by Wilkinson and Pickett, 2013 (0.87). On the other hand, income inequality is negatively associated to the UNICEF Index of Child Well-Being (-0.71). Furthermore, the level of anxiety and of depression is higher in countries where income inequality is greater. The correlation between happiness and income inequality in the 23 wealthy nations is -0.48; this correlation becomes -0.41 after control of the effect of the GNP (Gross National Product). These results support the idea that it is relative income - not absolute income - which matters in the evaluation of our life and of our happiness. In underdeveloped nations, any increase in GNP promotes the well-being of the citizens; whereas in wealthy nations, it is the equality of the distribution that is more important. Many arguments supporting the causal relation from income inequality to psychosocial
Peacock, Marian; Bissell, Paul; Owen, Jenny
The ways in which inequality generates particular population health outcomes remains a major source of dispute within social epidemiology and medical sociology. Wilkinson and Pickett's The Spirit Level (2009), undoubtedly galvanised thinking across the disciplines, with its emphasis on how income inequality shapes the distribution of health and social problems. In this paper, we argue that their focus on income inequality, whilst important, understates the role of neoliberal discourses and practises in making sense of contemporary inequality and its health-related consequences. Many quantitative studies have demonstrated that more neoliberal countries have poorer health compared to less neoliberal countries, but there are few qualitative studies which explore how neoliberal discourses shape accounts and experiences and what protections and resources might be available to people. This article uses findings from a qualitative psycho-social study employing biographical-narrative interviews with women in Salford (England) to understand experiences of inequality as posited in The Spirit Level. We found evidence for the sorts of damages resulting from inequality as proposed in The Spirit Level. However, in addition to these, the most striking finding was the repeated articulation of a discourse which we have termed "no legitimate dependency". This was something both painful and damaging, where dependency of almost any sort was disavowed and responsibility was assumed by the self or "othered" in various ways. No legitimate dependency, we propose, is a partial (and problematic) internalisation of neoliberal discourses which becomes naturalised and unquestioned at the individual level. We speculate that these sorts of discourses in conjunction with a destruction of protective resources (both material and discursive), lead to an increase in strain and account in part for well-known damages consequent on life in an unequal society. We conclude that integrating understandings
Popham, Frank; Dibben, Chris; Bambra, Clare
Research comparing mortality by socioeconomic status has found that inequalities are not the smallest in the Nordic countries. This is in contrast to expectations given these countries' policy focus on equity. An alternative way of studying inequality has been little used to compare inequalities across welfare states and may yield a different conclusion. We used average life expectancy lost per death as a measure of total inequality in mortality derived from death rates from the Human Mortality Database for 37 countries in 2006 that we grouped by welfare state type. We constructed a theoretical 'lowest mortality comparator country' to study, by age, why countries were not achieving the smallest inequality and the highest life expectancy. We also studied life expectancy as there is an important correlation between it and inequality. On average, Nordic countries had the highest life expectancy and smallest inequalities for men but not women. For both men and women, Nordic countries had particularly low younger age mortality contributing to smaller inequality and higher life expectancy. Although older age mortality in the Nordic countries is not the smallest. There was variation within Nordic countries with Sweden, Iceland and Norway having higher life expectancy and smaller inequalities than Denmark and Finland (for men). Our analysis suggests that the Nordic countries do have the smallest inequalities in mortality for men and for younger age groups. However, this is not the case for women. Reducing premature mortality among older age groups would increase life expectancy and reduce inequality further in Nordic countries.
implementation to ensure effective and efficient use of resources. Second, greater inequalities for interventions that require multiple service contacts imply that inequalities could be reduced by strengthening information and service provision by community and village health workers to promote and sustain timely care-seeking. Finally, larger inequalities for interventions that require a fully functioning health system suggest that investments in health facilities and human resources, particularly in areas that are disproportionately inhabited by the poor and ethnic minorities, may contribute to reducing inequalities.
Hougaard, Jens Leth; Moreno-Ternero, Juan D.; Østerdal, Lars Peter Raahave
Health outcomes are often described according to two dimensions: quality of life and quantity of life. We analyze the measurement of inequality of health distributions referring to these two dimensions. Our analysis relies on a novel treatment of the quality-of-life dimension, which might not hav...
Westert, G.P.; Schellevis, F.G.
Aim: To compare prevalence of conditions and health inequalities in one study population using two methods of data collection: health interview survey and GP registration of consultations. Methods: Data is from the Second Dutch Survey of General Practice, using a multistage sampling design with appr
Steele, J; Shen, J; Tsakos, G; Fuller, E; Morris, S; Watt, R; Guarnizo-Herreño, C; Wildman, J
Oral health inequalities associated with socioeconomic status are widely observed but may depend on the way that both oral health and socioeconomic status are measured. Our aim was to investigate inequalities using diverse indicators of oral health and 4 socioeconomic determinants, in the context of age and cohort. Multiple linear or logistic regressions were estimated for 7 oral health measures representing very different outcomes (2 caries prevalence measures, decayed/missing/filled teeth, 6-mm pockets, number of teeth, anterior spaces, and excellent oral health) against 4 socioeconomic measures (income, education, Index of Multiple Deprivation, and occupational social class) for adults aged ≥21 y in the 2009 UK Adult Dental Health Survey data set. Confounders were adjusted and marginal effects calculated. The results showed highly variable relationships for the different combinations of variables and that age group was critical, with different relationships at different ages. There were significant income inequalities in caries prevalence in the youngest age group, marginal effects of 0.10 to 0.18, representing a 10- to 18-percentage point increase in the probability of caries between the wealthiest and every other quintile, but there was not a clear gradient across the quintiles. With number of teeth as an outcome, there were significant income gradients after adjustment in older groups, up to 4.5 teeth (95% confidence interval, 2.2-6.8) between richest and poorest but none for the younger groups. For periodontal disease, income inequalities were mediated by other socioeconomic variables and smoking, while for anterior spaces, the relationships were age dependent and complex. In conclusion, oral health inequalities manifest in different ways in different age groups, representing age and cohort effects. Income sometimes has an independent relationship, but education and area of residence are also contributory. Appropriate choices of measures in relation to age
Gakidou, E. E.; Murray, C. J.; Frenk, J.
This paper proposes an approach to conceptualizing and operationalizing the measurement of health inequality, defined as differences in health across individuals in the population. We propose that health is an intrinsic component of well-being and thus we should be concerned with inequality in health, whether or not it is correlated with inequality in other dimensions of well-being. In the measurement of health inequality, the complete range of fatal and non-fatal health outcomes should be incorporated. This notion is operationalized through the concept of healthy lifespan. Individual health expectancy is preferable, as a measurement, to individual healthy lifespan, since health expectancy excludes those differences in healthy lifespan that are simply due to chance. In other words, the quantity of interest for studying health inequality is the distribution of health expectancy across individuals in the population. The inequality of the distribution of health expectancy can be summarized by measures of individual/mean differences (differences between the individual and the mean of the population) or inter-individual differences. The exact form of the measure to summarize inequality depends on three normative choices. A firmer understanding of people's views on these normative choices will provide a basis for deliberating on a standard WHO measure of health inequality. PMID:10686732
Truesdale, Beth C; Jencks, Christopher
Much research has investigated the association of income inequality with average life expectancy, usually finding negative correlations that are not very robust. A smaller body of work has investigated socioeconomic disparities in life expectancy, which have widened in many countries since 1980. These two lines of work should be seen as complementary because changes in average life expectancy are unlikely to affect all socioeconomic groups equally. Although most theories imply long and variable lags between changes in income inequality and changes in health, empirical evidence is confined largely to short-term effects. Rising income inequality can affect individuals in two ways. Direct effects change individuals' own income. Indirect effects change other people's income, which can then change a society's politics, customs, and ideals, altering the behavior even of those whose own income remains unchanged. Indirect effects can thus change both average health and the slope of the relationship between individual income and health.
Hu, Yannan; van Lenthe, Frank J; Borsboom, Gerard J
declining trends in the prevalence of less-than-good SAH in many countries, particularly in Southern and Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. In all countries, less-than-good SAH was more prevalent in lower educational and manual groups. For all countries together, absolute inequalities in SAH were mostly......, and there was generally no correspondence between the two when we compared the trends within countries. In order to develop policies or interventions that effectively reduce inequalities in SAH, a better understanding of the causes of these inequalities is needed.......BACKGROUND: Between the 1990s and 2000s, relative inequalities in all-cause mortality increased, whereas absolute inequalities decreased in many European countries. Whether similar trends can be observed for inequalities in other health outcomes is unknown. This paper aims to provide...
http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/232505/e96926.pdf; Rapport; Reducing health inequalities is an issue of fairness and social justice, and action should be focused on reducing the gradient. Giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life-course. Family, local communities and schools have a key role to play in achieving equity from the start.
diets being less expensive”. Dr. Robertson identified five areas to be addressed: 1) better coordination and coherence between public health, agricultural and environmental communities; 2) local and national governments to play a leading role in creating markets for sustainable food, including through...... public procurement; 3) more democratic sustainable food systems with fairer prices to producers; 4) realise that food and nutrition policies are at the heart of achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21climate goals; 5) a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach applied to CAP reform...... to reduce the amount of cheap energy from sugars and saturated fats available in the European diet. Also, Europe-wide legislation is needed both to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and to label the “country of origin” of sustainable products....
Foverskov, Else; Holm, Anders
showed no proof of the social causation hypothesis over a one to five year period and limited support for the health selection hypothesis was seen only for men in relation to HH income. These findings were robust in multiple sensitivity analysis. We conclude that the indirect selection hypothesis may......Despite social inequality in health being well documented, it is still debated which causal mechanism best explains the negative association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and health. This paper is concerned with testing the explanatory power of three widely proposed causal explanations...... for social inequality in health in adulthood: the social causation hypothesis (SEP determines health), the health selection hypothesis (health determines SEP) and the indirect selection hypothesis (no causal relationship). We employ dynamic data of respondents aged 30 to 60 from the last nine waves...
Tobacco use and exposure is unequally distributed across populations and countries and among women and men. These trends and patterns reflect and cause gender and economic inequities along with negative health impacts. Despite a commitment to gender analysis in the preamble to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control there is much yet to be done to fully understand how gender operates in tobacco control. Policies, program and research in tobacco control need to not only integrate gender, but rather operationalize gender with the goal of transforming gender and social inequities in the course of tobacco control initiatives. Gender transformative tobacco control goes beyond gender sensitive efforts and challenges policy and program developers to apply gender theory in designing their initiatives, with the goal of changing negative gender and social norms and improving social, economic, health and social indicators along with tobacco reduction. This paper outlines what is needed to progress tobacco control in enhancing the status of gendered and vulnerable groups, with a view to reducing gender and social inequities due to tobacco use and exposure.
Alonge, Olakunle; Peters, David H
This paper examines common approaches for quantifying health inequities and assesses the extent to which they incorporate key theories necessary for explicating the definition of health inequity. The first theoretical analysis examined the distinction between inter-individual and inter-group health inequalities as measures of health inequities. The second analysis considered the notion of fairness in health inequalities from different philosophical perspectives. To understand the extent to which different measures of health inequities incorporate these theoretical explanations, four criteria were used to assess each measure: 1) Does the indicator demonstrate inter-group or inter-individual health inequalities or both; 2) Does it reflect health inequalities in relation to socioeconomic position; 3) Is it sensitive to the absolute transfer of health (outcomes, services, or both) or income/wealth between groups; 4) Could it be used to capture inequalities in relation to other population groupings (other than socioeconomic status)? The measures assessed include: before and after measures within only the disadvantaged population, range, Gini coefficient, Pseudo-Gini coefficient, index of dissimilarity, concentration index, slope and relative indices of inequality, and regression techniques. None of these measures satisfied all the four criteria, except the range. Whereas each measure quantifies a different perspective in health inequities, using a measure within only the disadvantaged population does not measure health inequities in a meaningful way, even using before and after changes. For a more complete assessment of how programs affect health inequities, it may be useful to use more than one measure.
Camprubí, Lluís; Díez, Èlia; Morrison, Joana; Borrell, Carme
The Ineq-Cities project analyzed inequalities in mortality in small areas and described interventions to reduce inequalities in health in 16 European cities. This field note describes the dissemination of the project in Spain. In accordance with the recommendations of the project, the objective was to translate relevant results to key stakeholders - mainly technical staff, municipal officers and local social agents - and to provide an introduction to urban inequalities in health and strategies to address them. Twenty-four workshops were given, attended by more than 350 professionals from 92 municipalities. Knowledge dissemination consisted of the publication of a short book on inequalities in health and the approach to this problem in cities and three articles in nonspecialized media, a proposal for a municipal motion, and knowledge dissemination activities in social networks. Users rated these activities highly and stressed the need to systematize these products. This process may have contributed to the inclusion of health inequalities in the political agenda and to the training of officers to correct them.
Unfair and avoidable differences in exercising the right to health coexist with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948. Some causes of the persistent inequality inferred after Alma-Ata are insufficient funding, development of national health systems without adequate prioritization, and since the 80s with economic consensus to introduce the health market model. Health in Peru is still an area of little progress, ostensible inequality and limited participation in development. Policies in the 20th century are still insufficient; and missing opportunities like increasing the value of exports over a decade ago is a recurring issue. For a health reform to be successful in terms of equality and development, it is necessary to agree on a state policy, establish a modern and equitable social security funding system and eradicate the inconsistencies in the national health system.
Due, P; Lynch, J; Holstein, B
To investigate the role of different types of social relations in adolescent health inequalities.......To investigate the role of different types of social relations in adolescent health inequalities....
Marchman Andersen, M; Oksbjerg Dalton, S; Lynch, J; Johansen, C; Holtug, N
Are social inequalities in health unjust when brought about by differences in lifestyle? A widespread idea, luck egalitarianism, is that inequality stemming from individuals' free choices is not to be considered unjust, since individuals, presumably, are themselves responsible for such choices. Thus, to the extent that lifestyles are in fact results of free choices, social inequality in health brought about by these choices is not in tension with egalitarian justice. If this is so, then it may put in question the justification of free and equal access to health care and existing medical research priorities. However, personal responsibility is a highly contested issue and in this article we first consider the case for, and second the case against, personal responsibility for health in light of recent developments in philosophical accounts of responsibility and equality. We suggest-but do not fully establish-that at the most fundamental level people are never responsible in such a way that appeals to individuals' own responsibility can justify inequalities in health.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The common starting point of many studies scrutinizing the factors underlying health inequalities is that material, cultural-behavioural, and psycho-social factors affect the distribution of health systematically through income, education, occupation, wealth or similar indicators of socioeconomic structure. However, little is known regarding if and to what extent these factors can assert systematic influence on the distribution of health of a population independent of the effects channelled through income, education, or wealth. Methods Using representative data from the German Socioeconomic Panel, we apply Fields' regression based decomposition techniques to decompose variations in health into its sources. Controlling for income, education, occupation, and wealth, we assess the relative importance of the explanatory factors over and above their effect on the variation in health channelled through the commonly applied measures of socioeconomic status. Results The analysis suggests that three main factors persistently contribute to variance in health: the capability score, cultural-behavioural variables and to a lower extent, the materialist approach. Of the three, the capability score illustrates the explanatory power of interaction and compound effects as it captures the individual's socioeconomic, social, and psychological resources in relation to his/her exposure to life challenges. Conclusion Models that take a reductionist perspective and do not allow for the possibility that health inequalities are generated by factors over and above their effect on the variation in health channelled through one of the socioeconomic measures are underspecified and may fail to capture the determinants of health inequalities.
Using cross-country and panel regressions, this paper investigates to what extent gender inequality in education and employment may reduce growth and development. The paper finds a considerable impact of gender inequality on economic growth which is robust to changes in specifications and controls for potential endogeneities. The results suggest that gender inequality in education has a direct impact on economic growth through lowering the average quality of human capital. In addition, econom...
The private practice nurse can be confronted with patients living in situations of extreme poverty. During her home visits, she is sometimes reminded of the lack of prevention and the difficulties of accessing care. In her daily practice, she plays an important role faced with these inequalities in health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Sortsø, Camilla; Lauridsen, Jørgen; Emneus, Martha
differences in inequality estimates. While income, alike other measures of labor market attachment, to a certain extent is explained by morbidity and thus endogenous, education is more decisive for patients' ability to take advantage of the more specialized services provided in a universal health care system....
Ahmad Reza Hosseinpoor
Full Text Available Abstract Background It is widely recognised that the pursuit of sustainable development cannot be accomplished without addressing inequality, or observed differences between subgroups of a population. Monitoring health inequalities allows for the identification of health topics where major group differences exist, dimensions of inequality that must be prioritised to effect improvements in multiple health domains, and also population subgroups that are multiply disadvantaged. While availability of data to monitor health inequalities is gradually improving, there is a commensurate need to increase, within countries, the technical capacity for analysis of these data and interpretation of results for decision-making. Prior efforts to build capacity have yielded demand for a toolkit with the computational ability to display disaggregated data and summary measures of inequality in an interactive and customisable fashion that would facilitate interpretation and reporting of health inequality in a given country. Methods To answer this demand, the Health Equity Assessment Toolkit (HEAT, was developed between 2014 and 2016. The software, which contains the World Health Organization’s Health Equity Monitor database, allows the assessment of inequalities within a country using over 30 reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health indicators and five dimensions of inequality (economic status, education, place of residence, subnational region and child’s sex, where applicable. Results/Conclusion HEAT was beta-tested in 2015 as part of ongoing capacity building workshops on health inequality monitoring. This is the first and only application of its kind; further developments are proposed to introduce an upload data feature, translate it into different languages and increase interactivity of the software. This article will present the main features and functionalities of HEAT and discuss its relevance and use for health inequality monitoring.
Parkinson, Clive; White, Mike
This paper considers how participatory arts informed by thinking in public health can play a significant part internationally in addressing inequalities in health. It looks beyond national overviews of arts and health to consider what would make for meaningful international practice, citing recent initiatives of national networks in English-speaking countries and examples of influential developments in South America and the European Union. In the context of public health thinking on inequalities and social justice, the paper posits what would make for good practice and appropriate research that impacts on policy. As the arts and health movement gathers momentum, the paper urges the arts to describe their potency in the policy-making arena in the most compelling ways to articulate their social, economic and cultural values. In the process, it identifies the reflexive consideration of participatory practice – involving people routinely marginalised from decision-making processes – as a possible avenue into this work. PMID:25729409
Brønnum-Hansen, Henrik; Baadsgaard, Mikkel
AIMS: Health expectancy represents the average lifetime in various states of health and differs among social groups. The purpose of the study was to determine trends in social inequality in health expectancy since 1994 between groups with high, medium and low educational levels in Denmark. METHODS...... indicators. CONCLUSIONS: During the past 12 years, social inequality in life expectancy and health expectancy has increased in Denmark, but the proportion of the population with a low educational level has decreased....... educational level, the increase was 2.7 years for men and 2.2 years for women. The difference between people with low and high educational level in expected lifetime in self-rated good health increased by 2.0 and 1.3 years for 30-year-old men and women, respectively. The social gap also increased for other...
Recent studies characterize the last half of the twentieth century as an era of cross-national health convergence, with some attributing welfare gains in the developing world to economic growth. In this study, I examine the extent to which welfare outcomes have actually converged and the extent to which economic development is responsible for the observed trends. Drawing from estimates covering 195 nations during the 1955-2005 period, I find that life expectancy averages converged during this time, but that infant mortality rates continuously diverged. I develop a narrative that implicates economic development in these contrasting trends, suggesting that health outcomes follow a "welfare Kuznets curve." Among poor countries, economic development improves life expectancy more than it reduces infant mortality, whereas the situation is reversed among wealthier nations. In this way, development has contributed to both convergence in life expectancy and divergence in infant mortality. Drawing from 674 observations across 163 countries during the 1980-2005 period, I find that the positive effect of GDP PC on life expectancy attenuates at higher levels of development, while the negative effect of GDP PC on infant mortality grows stronger.
van Deurzen, Ioana; van Oorschot, Wim; van Ingen, Erik
An influential policy idea states that reducing inequality is beneficial for improving health in the low and middle income countries (LMICs). Our study provides an empirical test of this idea: we utilized data collected by the Demographic and Health Surveys between 2000 and 2011 in as much as 52 LMICs, and we examined the relationship between household wealth inequality and two health outcomes: anemia status (of the children and their mothers) and the women' experience of child mortality. Based on multi-level analyses, we found that higher levels of household wealth inequality related to worse health, but this effect was strongly reduced when we took into account the level of individuals' wealth. However, even after accounting for the differences between individuals in terms of household wealth and other characteristics, in those LMICs with higher household wealth inequality more women experienced child mortality and more children were tested with anemia. This effect was partially mediated by the country's level and coverage of the health services and infrastructure. Furthermore, we found higher inequality to be related to a larger health gap between the poor and the rich in only one of the three examined samples. We conclude that an effective way to improve the health in the LMICs is to increase the wealth among the poor, which in turn also would lead to lower overall inequality and potential investments in public health infrastructure and services.
Buyx, A M
It is well-documented that the socio-economic status has an important influence on health. In all developed countries, health is closely correlated with income, education, and type of employment, as well as with several other social determinants. While data on this socio-economic health gradient have been available for decades, the moral questions surrounding social health inequalities have only recently been addressed within the field of public health ethics. The present article offers a brief overview of relevant data on social health inequalities and on some explanatory models from epidemiology, social medicine and related disciplines. The main part explores three influential normative accounts addressing the issue of health inequalities. Finally, an agenda for future work in the field of public health ethics and health inequalities is sketched, with particular attention to the German context.
Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate healthcare access disparity that will cause delayed and unmet healthcare needs for the elderly, and to examine health inequality and healthcare cost burden for the elderly. To produce clear policy applications, this study adapts a modified PRECEDE-PROCEED model for framing theoretical and experimental approaches. Data were collected from a large collection of the Community Tracking Study Household Survey 2003–2004 of the USA. Reliability and construct validity are examined for internal consistency and estimation of disparity and inequality are analyzed by using probit/ols regressions. The results show that predisposing factors (e.g., attitude, beliefs, and perception by socio-demographic differences are negatively associated with delayed healthcare. A 10% increase in enabling factors (e.g., availability of health insurance coverage, and usual sources of healthcare providers are significantly associated with a 1% increase in healthcare financing factors. In addition, information through a socio-economic network and support system has a 5% impact on an access disparity. Income, health status, and health inequality are exogenously determined. Designing and implementing easy healthcare accessibility (healthcare system and healthcare financing methods, and developing a socio-economic support network (including public health information are essential in reducing delayed healthcare and health inequality.
Barr, Ben; Higgerson, James; Whitehead, Margaret
Objective To investigate whether the English health inequalities strategy was associated with a decline in geographical health inequalities, compared with trends before and after the strategy.Design Time trend analysis.Setting Two groups of lower tier local authorities in England. The most deprived, bottom fifth and the rest of England.Intervention The English health inequalities strategy-a cross government strategy implemented between 1997 and 2010 to reduce health inequalities in England. Trends in geographical health inequalities were assessed before (1983-2003), during (2004-12), and after (2013-15) the strategy using segmented linear regression.Main outcome measure Geographical health inequalities measured as the relative and absolute differences in male and female life expectancy at birth between the most deprived local authorities in England and the rest of the country.Results Before the strategy the gap in male and female life expectancy between the most deprived local authorities in England and the rest of the country increased at a rate of 0.57 months each year (95% confidence interval 0.40 to 0.74 months) and 0.30 months each year (0.12 to 0.48 months). During the strategy period this trend reversed and the gap in life expectancy for men reduced by 0.91 months each year (0.54 to 1.27 months) and for women by 0.50 months each year (0.15 to 0.86 months). Since the end of the strategy period the inequality gap has increased again at a rate of 0.68 months each year (-0.20 to 1.56 months) for men and 0.31 months each year (-0.26 to 0.88) for women. By 2012 the gap in male life expectancy was 1.2 years smaller (95% confidence interval 0.8 to 1.5 years smaller) and the gap in female life expectancy was 0.6 years smaller (0.3 to 1.0 years smaller) than it would have been if the trends in inequalities before the strategy had continued.Conclusion The English health inequalities strategy was associated with a decline in geographical inequalities in life
Monteiro, Camila Nascimento; Beenackers, Mariëlle A; Goldbaum, Moisés; de Azevedo Barros, Marilisa Berti; Gianini, Reinaldo José; Cesar, Chester Luiz Galvão; Mackenbach, Johan P
Access to, and use of, dental health services in Brazil have improved since 2003. The increase of private health care plans and the implementation of the "Smiling Brazil" Program, the largest public oral health care program in the world, could have influenced this increase in access. However, we do not yet know if inequalities in the use of dental health services persist after the improvement in access. The aims of this study are to analyze socioeconomic differences for dental health service use between 2003 and 2008 in São Paulo and to examine changes in these associations since the implementation of the Smiling Brazil program in 2003. Data was obtained via two household health surveys (ISA-Capital 2003 and ISA-Capital 2008) which investigated living conditions, lifestyle, health status and use of health care services. Logistic regression was used to analyze associations between socioeconomic factors and dental services use. Additionally, trends from 2003 to 2008 regarding socioeconomic characteristics and dental health service use were explored. Overall, dental health service use increased between 2003 and 2008 and was at both time points more common among those who had higher income, better education, better housing conditions, private health care plans and were Caucasian. Inequalities in use of dental health care did not decrease over time. Among the reasons for not seeking dental care, not having teeth and financial difficulty were more common in lower socioeconomic groups, while thinking it was unnecessary was more common in higher socioeconomic groups. The Brazilian oral health policy is still in a period of expansion and seems to have contributed slightly to increased dental health service use, but has not influenced socioeconomic inequalities in the use of these services. Acquiring deeper knowledge about inequalities in dental health service use will contribute to better understanding of potential barriers to reducing them.
Full Text Available Los objetivos de este trabajo son tres: en primer lugar, se revisan las causas de las desigualdades sociales en salud incluyendo el papel que juegan los servicios sanitarios en las mismas; posteriormente se analiza la influencia de la financiación y la organización de los servicios sanitarios en las desigualdades y finalmente, se muestra un ejemplo de las desigualdades en la utilización de los servicios sanitarios en Cataluña, comunidad autónoma del Estado Español donde existe un Sistema Nacional de Salud. Se analizan las siguientes causas de las desigualdades en salud: los estilos de vida o conductas relacionadas con la salud, los servicios sanitarios, los factores materiales o estructurales, las desigualdades de renta y los factores políticos. Los servicios sanitarios no son los determinantes principales de la salud ni de las desigualdades en salud. Pero la existencia de servicios sanitarios adecuados es una necesidad fundamental y el acceso a los mismos debería ser un derecho de todas las personas sin distinciones sociales. Tanto la calidad como la cobertura de los servicios sanitarios son una parte integral de la definición del desarrollo en sí mismo y constituyen unos de los principales indicadores de bienestar social. Finalmente, se muestra un ejemplo sobre las desigualdades según clase social en la utilización de servicios sanitarios en Cataluña en 1994 y en 2002, desigualdades que son prácticamente inexistentes en el caso de los servicios sanitarios curativos, pero que se mantienen en los servicios preventivos.The objectives of this paper are three: first to review the causes of inequalities in health and the role played by health services; second, to analyze the influence of health care financing and the organization of health services on inequalities in health and to show an example of the study of inequalities in health services utilization in Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain where a National Health System
Full Text Available Abstract Background In all countries people of lower socioeconomic status evaluate their health more poorly. Yet in reporting overall health, individuals consider multiple domains that comprise their perceived health state. Considered alone, overall measures of self-reported health mask differences in the domains of health. The aim of this study is to compare and assess socioeconomic inequalities in each of the individual health domains and in a separate measure of overall health. Methods Data on 247,037 adults aged 18 or older were analyzed from 57 countries, drawn from all national income groups, participating in the World Health Survey 2002-2004. The analysis was repeated for lower- and higher-income countries. Prevalence estimates of poor self-rated health (SRH were calculated for each domain and for overall health according to wealth quintiles and education levels. Relative socioeconomic inequalities in SRH were measured for each of the eight health domains and for overall health, according to wealth quintiles and education levels, using the relative index of inequality (RII. A RII value greater than one indicated greater prevalence of self-reported poor health among populations of lower socioeconomic status, called pro-rich inequality. Results There was a descending gradient in the prevalence of poor health, moving from the poorest wealth quintile to the richest, and moving from the lowest to the highest educated groups. Inequalities which favor groups who are advantaged either with respect to wealth or education, were consistently statistically significant in each of the individual domains of health, and in health overall. However the size of these inequalities differed between health domains. The prevalence of reporting poor health was higher in the lower-income country group. Relative socioeconomic inequalities in the health domains and overall health were higher in the higher-income country group than the lower-income country group
Morrison, Joana; Pons-Vigués, Mariona; Bécares, Laia; Burström, Bo; Gandarillas, Ana; Domínguez-Berjón, Felicitas; Diez, Èlia; Costa, Giuseppe; Ruiz, Milagros; Pikhart, Hynek; Marinacci, Chiara; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Santana, Paula; Borrell, Carme
Objective To describe the knowledge and beliefs of public policymakers on social inequalities in health and policies to reduce them in cities from different parts of Europe during 2010 and 2011. Design Phenomenological qualitative study. Setting 13 European cities. Participants 19 elected politicians and officers with a directive status from 13 European cities. Main outcome Policymaker's knowledge and beliefs. Results Three emerging discourses were identified among the interviewees, depending on the city of the interviewee. Health inequalities were perceived by most policymakers as differences in life-expectancy between population with economic, social and geographical differences. Reducing health inequalities was a priority for the majority of cities which use surveys as sources of information to analyse these. Bureaucracy, funding and population beliefs were the main barriers. Conclusions The majority of the interviewed policymakers gave an account of interventions focusing on the immediate determinants and aimed at modifying lifestyles and behaviours in the more disadvantaged classes. More funding should be put towards academic research on effective universal policies, evaluation of their impact and training policymakers and officers on health inequalities in city governments. PMID:24871536
India experienced tremendous economic growth since the mid-1980s but this growth was paralleled by sharp rises in economic inequality. Urban areas experienced greater economic growth as well as greater increases in economic inequality than rural areas. During the same period, child health improved on average but socioeconomic differentials in child health persisted. This paper attempts to explain wealth-based inequalities in child mortality and malnutrition using a regression-based decomposition approach. Data for the analysis come from the 1992/93, 1998/99, and 2005/06 Indian National Family Health Surveys. Inequalities in child health are measured using the concentration index. The concentration index for each outcome is then decomposed into the contributions of wealth-based inequality in the observed determinants of child health. Results indicate that mortality inequality declined in urban areas but remained unchanged or increased in rural areas. Malnutrition inequality increased dramatically both in urban and rural areas. The two largest individual/household-level sources of disparities in child health are (i) inequality in the distribution of wealth itself, and (ii) inequality in maternal education. The contributions of observed determinants (i) to neonatal mortality inequality remained unchanged, (ii) to child mortality inequality increased, and (ii) to malnutrition inequality increased. It is possible that the increases in child health inequality reflect urban biases in economic growth, and the mixed performance of public programs that could have otherwise offset the impacts of unequal growth.
Saib, Mahdi-Salim; Caudeville, Julien; Beauchamp, Maxime; Carré, Florence; Ganry, Olivier; Trugeon, Alain; Cicolella, Andre
Background Reducing health inequalities involves the identification and characterization of social and exposure factors and the way they accumulate in a given area. The areas of accumulation then allow for prioritization of interventions. The present study aims to build spatial composite indicators based on the aggregation of environmental, social and health indicators and their inter-relationships. Method Preliminary work was carried out firstly to homogenize spatial coverage, and secondly t...
Full Text Available What is already known on this subject?Various measures have been used in quantifying health inequities among populations in recent times; most of these measures were derived to capture the socioeconomic inequalities in health. These different measures do not always lend themselves to common interpretation by policy makers and health managers because they each reflect limited aspects of the concept of health inequities.What does this study add?To inform a more appropriate application of the different measures currently used in quantifying health inequities, this article explicates common theories underlying the definition of health inequities and uses this understanding to show the utility and limitations of these different measures. It also suggests some key features of an ideal indicator based on the conceptual understanding, with the hope of influencing future efforts in developing more robust measures of health inequities. The article also provides a conceptual ‘product label’ for the common measures of health inequities to guide users and ‘consumers’ in making more robust inferences and conclusions.This paper examines common approaches for quantifying health inequities and assesses the extent to which they incorporate key theories necessary for explicating the definition of health inequity. The first theoretical analysis examined the distinction between inter-individual and inter-group health inequalities as measures of health inequities. The second analysis considered the notion of fairness in health inequalities from different philosophical perspectives. To understand the extent to which different measures of health inequities incorporate these theoretical explanations, four criteria were used to assess each measure: 1 Does the indicator demonstrate inter-group or inter-individual health inequalities or both; 2 Does it reflect health inequalities in relation to socioeconomic position; 3 Is it sensitive to the absolute transfer of
Recent public health programmes from four countries: Denmark, England, Norway, and Sweden, are studied to analyse how social inequality in health is described, explained and suggested to be tackled, i.e., the problematization or the discursive process whereby the issue is framed and made accessible to political action. Social inequality in health is defined in these programmes both as a disadvantaged minority with major health problems, in contrast to the rest of the population, i.e., as a dichotomy; and as a gradient in which health problems are seen as increasing with lower social class or educational level. The causes of health inequality are identified as behaviour, social relations and underlying social structures. Policies aimed at reducing health inequality can be characterized as either in accordance with a residual welfare state model, targeting the disadvantaged, or a universal model, addressing the whole population. All countries have policies that are mixtures of these problematizations, but with some systematic differences between the countries. In this field England resembles the Scandinavian countries, as much as they resemble each other dispelling the idea of a Nordic or Scandinavian welfare state model.
Suárez-Orozco, Carola; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu; Tseng, Vivian
As immigration has reached historic numbers in the United States, immigrant children have become an integral part of the national tapestry. While immigration has grown across all post-industrial nations, inequality has risen at a steep rate on a variety of indicators, including income distribution, child poverty, residential segregation, and…
Clifford, David; Hill, Sarah; Collin, Jeff
The prominence of socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in tobacco use has led to increased policy attention on smoking inequalities in many countries. In 2008 the UK Department of Health held a consultation on the future of tobacco control, including a focus on reducing socioeconomic inequalities in smoking, to which tobacco companies made written submissions. These organisations have historically opposed regulation, favouring a depiction of smoking that emphasises individual choice and downplays broader influences such as industry activities. We undertook thematic analysis of submissions from tobacco manufacturers and allied organisations, with particular focus on industry engagement with health inequalities. Alongside well-established arguments (including defence of individual liberty and challenges to scientific evidence), industry actors adopted and misrepresented the language of health inequalities and the social determinants of health in order to oppose specific tobacco control interventions including tobacco taxation, denormalisation of smoking and cessation support. While industry submissions generally opposed state regulation of the tobacco market, tobacco companies argued for increased government investment in harm reduction products and in countering illicit trade. Tobacco companies co-opted and misrepresented a social determinants model of health to argue against government regulation of the tobacco market. By drawing on this model, tobacco companies are misappropriating a powerful public health discourse in an attempt to create a false dichotomy between reducing inequalities and regulating of the tobacco market. Such tactics highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of industry attempts to undermine tobacco control policy, particularly with reference to harm reduction. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Richmond, Georgia; Kenny, Conor; Ahmed, Jabed; Stephenson, Lucy; lindsay, jamie; Earls, Patrick; Mullin, Donncha; Ryland, Howard
Patients suffering from mental health illness have considerably more physical health disease burden than the rest of the population and are more likely to die 10 to 20 years younger compared with their peers. Diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory disease have been recognised as contributing factors to premature death. Furthermore patients with severe mental illness undertake lower levels of physical activity. The aim of the project was therefore to address the inequalities in physical health that affect patients with mental health illness through designing and implementing a sustainable, transferable, patient-centred education and activity intervention. The objective of the project was to increase patient motivation to change behaviour as a result of physical health interventions by increasing patients' physical health understanding, motivation to change their physical health behaviour, motivation to do exercise and by reducing their anxiety. The method used was a prospective cohort study in four eighteen bed psychosis inpatient units. The units were across two large London hospitals in one Hospital Trust involving male and female inpatients with a range of mental health issues. The intervention was comprised of two components. The first component was a weekly 45 minute teaching group designed in collaboration with patients focusing on the key domains that affect the physical health of mental health patients. Four discussion domains (heart health, diabetes and weight, smoking and lung disease, cancer screening and substance misuse) were undertaken, with each cycle lasting four weeks. The second component was a weekly 45 minute exercise group (‘normalisation activity’) in collaboration with patients and the multidisciplinary team. The intervention was evaluated at the end of each cycle and four cycles in total took place. Weekly pre and post intervention measures were undertaken comprising of a self reported change in understanding, motivation to change
The Atkinson index of income inequality is based on a comparison of the average income with the equivalent income, where the equivalent income is defined as the level of income that, if given to everyone, would generate the same social welfare as the existing distribution of income. This paper explores the possibility of extending this approach to the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health. It assumes a social evaluation function that depends upon two variables: socioeconomic status as well as health status. With a general form of this function, an Atkinson measure is derived, which gives exactly the same result when applied to the socioeconomic variable and when applied to the health variable. The paper examines the properties of the index and suggests various extensions.
Dadvand, Payam; de Nazelle, Audrey; Figueras, Francesc; Basagaña, Xavier; Su, Jason; Amoly, Elmira; Jerrett, Michael; Vrijheid, Martine; Sunyer, Jordi; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J
Green spaces have been suggested to improve physical and mental health and well-being by increasing physical activity, reducing air pollution, noise, and ambient temperature, increasing social contacts and relieving psychophysiological stress. Although these mechanisms also suggest potential beneficial effects of green spaces on pregnancy outcomes, to our knowledge there is no available epidemiological evidence on this impact. We investigated the effects of surrounding greenness and proximity to major green spaces on birth weight and gestational age at delivery and described the effect of socioeconomic position (SEP) on these relationships. This study was based on a cohort of births (N=8246) that occurred in a major university hospital in Barcelona, Spain, during 2001-2005. We determined surrounding greenness from satellite retrievals as the average of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in a buffer of 100 m around each maternal place of residence. To address proximity to major green spaces, a binary variable was used to indicate whether maternal residential address is situated within a buffer of 500 m from boundaries of a major green space. For each indicator of green exposure, linear regression models were constructed to estimate change in outcomes adjusted for relevant covariates including individual and area level SEP. None of the indicators of green exposure was associated with birth weight and gestational age. After assessing effect modification based on the level of maternal education, we detected an increase in birth weight (grams) among the lowest education level group (N=164) who had higher surrounding NDVI (Regression coefficient (95% confidence interval (CI) of 436.3 (43.1, 829.5)) or lived close to a major green space (Regression coefficient (95% CI)) of 189.8 (23.9, 355.7)). Our findings suggest a beneficial effect of exposure to green spaces on birth weight only in the lowest SEP group.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Although there are wide variations in mortality between developed and developing countries, socioeconomic inequalities in health exist in both the societies. The study examined socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and child mortality using data from the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B. Methods Four birth cohorts (1983–85, 1988–90, 1993–95, 1998–00 were followed for five years for death and out-migration in two adjacent areas (ICDDR,B-service and government-service with similar socioeconomic but differ health services. Based on asset quintiles, inequality was measured through both poor-rich ratio and concentration index. Results The study found that the socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality increased over time in both the ICDDR,B-service and government-service areas but it declined substantially for 1–4 years in the ICDDR,B- service area. Conclusion The study concluded that usual health intervention programs (non-targeted do not reduce poor-rich gap, rather the gap increases initially but might decrease in long run if the program is very intensive.
I. Soerjomataram; J.J. Barendregt; C. Gartner; A. Kunst; H. Moller; M. Avendano
Introduction: Lower social class has higher lung cancer incidence, largely attributable to higher smoking prevalence among the lower social classes. We assessed the magnitude and time dimension of potential impact of targeted interventions on smoking on socioeconomic inequalities in lung cancer. Met
Mar 2, 2013 ... adjusted for such gender differences at ART initiation, men still had a 31% higher risk of ... courts; by other public agencies or social services; on the street or in a public setting. Level .... Health Care Interpersonal Interactions.
Roberts, Janet Hatcher
Health determinants and how they are distributed have an important impact on health systems around the world. Nurses can play a significant role in mediating the effects of many of these determinants both inside the health care system and outside. Yet the areas that have the greatest health inequities and heaviest disease burdens have the fewest health workers. A number of efforts are underway to understand and manage health care worker migration. Intersectoral collaboration is key, as are other factors necessary to build strong health systems, including research for development, capacity-building, integrated health systems, evidence-based decision-making, a strong and vibrant civil society and accountability and transparency in the public and private sectors.
Dr. Kevin A. Fenton, Director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), discusses health inequities in the United States and how NCHHSTP research, policies, and programs can address them. Created: 9/15/2010 by National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Date Released: 9/15/2010.
Eriksen, Hege R.; Holger Ursin
Increasing social inequalities in health have been ascribed to unequal distribution of resources, and to exposure factors. We propose that these differences also may be explained by principles from cognitive stress theory. There seems to be consensus in the stress literature that the stress response is not predicted from the external situation. The acquired expectancies to stimuli and response outcome are determining the response. These expectancies are learned. Based on available...
Foverskov, Else; Holm, Anders
Despite social inequality in health being well documented, it is still debated which causal mechanism best explains the negative association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and health. This paper is concerned with testing the explanatory power of three widely proposed causal explanations...... of the British Household Panel Survey. Household income and location on the Cambridge Scale is included as measures of different dimensions of SEP and health is measured as a latent factor score. The causal hypotheses are tested using a time-based Granger approach by estimating dynamic fixed effects panel...
Madsen, Jacob Østergaard
promotion, such as campaigns and teaching, have little to no effect in high-risk health areas. Rather, initiatives must be locally anchored – integrated into the local culture, and based on social relationships and group activities. This paper explains how we conducted PD walks with residents and community...... the fact that this group suffers the most from health inequality and weigh most on the public healthcare services and costs. The study identifies social and cultural aspects that influence everyday health management and presents how a citizen-driven approach like PD walks, can contribute valuable insights...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: HPV immunisation of adolescent girls is expected to have a significant impact in the reduction of cervical cancer. UK The HPV immunisation programme is primarily delivered by school nurses. We examine the role of school nurses in delivering the HPV immunisation programme and their impact on minimising health inequalities in vaccine uptake. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A rapid evidence assessment (REA and semi-structured interviews with health professionals were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. 80 health professionals from across the UK are interviewed, primarily school nurses and HPV immunisation programme coordinators. The REA identified 2,795 articles and after analysis and hand searches, 34 relevant articles were identified and analysed. Interviews revealed that health inequalities in HPV vaccination uptake were mainly related to income and other social factors in contrast to published research which emphasises potential inequalities related to ethnicity and/or religion. Most school nurses interviewed understood local health inequalities and made particular efforts to target girls who did not attend or missed doses. Interviews also revealed maintaining accurate and consistent records influenced both school nurses' understanding and efforts to target inequalities in HPV vaccination uptake. CONCLUSIONS: Despite high uptake in the UK, some girls remain at risk of not being vaccinated with all three doses. School nurses played a key role in reducing health inequalities in the delivery of the HPV programme. Other studies identified religious beliefs and ethnicity as potentially influencing HPV vaccination uptake but interviews for this research found this appeared not to have occurred. Instead school nurses stated girls who were more likely to be missed were those not in education. Improving understanding of the delivery processes of immunisation programmes and this impact on health inequalities can help to inform solutions to
Murtaza, Fowad; Mustafa, Tajammal; Awan, Rabia
Background and Objective: Poverty and inequality in health is pervasive in Pakistan. The provisions and conditions of health are very dismal. A significant proportion of the population (16.34%) of Pakistan is under 5 years, but Pakistan is in the bottom 5% of countries in the world in terms of spending on health and education. It is ranked the lowest in the world with sub-Sahara Africa in terms of child health equality. The objective of this study was to examine child health inequalities in Pakistan. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from Pakistan Integrated Household Survey/Household Integrated Economic Survey 2001–2002, collected by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Coverage of diarrhea and immunization were used as indicators of child health. Stata 11.0 was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics including frequency distribution and proportions for categorical variables and mean for continuous variables were computed. Results: Children under 5 years of age account for about 16.34% of the total population, 11.76% (2.5 million) of whom suffered from diarrhea in 1-month. The average duration of a diarrheal episode was 7 days. About 72% of the children who had diarrhea lived in a house without pipe-borne water supply. Around 22% children who had diarrhea had no advice or treatment. More than one-third of the households had no toilet in the house, and only 29% of the households were connected with pipe-borne drinking water. About 7.73% (1.6 million) children had never been immunized. The main reason for nonimmunization was parents’ lack of knowledge and of immunization. Conclusion: Child health inequalities in Pakistan are linked with several factors such as severe poverty, illiteracy, lack of knowledge, and awareness of child healthcare, singularly inadequate provision of health services, and poor infrastructure. PMID:26392798
Full Text Available Background and Objective: Poverty and inequality in health is pervasive in Pakistan. The provisions and conditions of health are very dismal. A significant proportion of the population (16.34% of Pakistan is under 5 years, but Pakistan is in the bottom 5% of countries in the world in terms of spending on health and education. It is ranked the lowest in the world with sub-Sahara Africa in terms of child health equality. The objective of this study was to examine child health inequalities in Pakistan. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from Pakistan Integrated Household Survey/Household Integrated Economic Survey 2001-2002, collected by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Coverage of diarrhea and immunization were used as indicators of child health. Stata 11.0 was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics including frequency distribution and proportions for categorical variables and mean for continuous variables were computed. Results: Children under 5 years of age account for about 16.34% of the total population, 11.76% (2.5 million of whom suffered from diarrhea in 1-month. The average duration of a diarrheal episode was 7 days. About 72% of the children who had diarrhea lived in a house without pipe-borne water supply. Around 22% children who had diarrhea had no advice or treatment. More than one-third of the households had no toilet in the house, and only 29% of the households were connected with pipe-borne drinking water. About 7.73% (1.6 million children had never been immunized. The main reason for nonimmunization was parents′ lack of knowledge and of immunization. Conclusion: Child health inequalities in Pakistan are linked with several factors such as severe poverty, illiteracy, lack of knowledge, and awareness of child healthcare, singularly inadequate provision of health services, and poor infrastructure.
Full Text Available Abstract An urban health index (UHI was used to quantify health inequalities within Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the years 2002-2010. Eight main health indicators were generated at the ward level using mortality data. The indicators were combined to form the index. The distribution of the rank ordered UHI-values provides information on inequality among wards, using the ratio of the extremes and the gradient of the middle values. Over the decade the ratio of extremes in 2010 declined relative to 2002 (1.57 vs. 1.32 as did the slope of the middle values (0.23 vs. 0.16. A spatial division between the affluent south and the deprived north and east is still visible. The UHI correlated on an ecological ward-level with socioeconomic and urban environment indicators like square meter price of apartments (0.54, p < 0.01, low education of mother (-0.61, p < 0.01, low income (-0.62, p < 0.01 and proportion of black ethnicity (-0.55, p < 0.01. The results suggest that population health and equity have improved in Rio de Janeiro in the last decade though some familiar patterns of spatial inequality remain.
Bortz, Martin; Kano, Megumi; Ramroth, Heribert; Barcellos, Christovam; Weaver, Scott R.; Rothenberg, Richard; Magalhães, Monica
An urban health index (UHI) was used to quantify health inequalities within Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the years 2002-2010. Eight main health indicators were generated at the ward level using mortality data. The indicators were combined to form the index. The distribution of the rank ordered UHI-values provides information on inequality among wards, using the ratio of the extremes and the gradient of the middle values. Over the decade the ratio of extremes in 2010 declined relative to 2002 (1.57 vs. 1.32) as did the slope of the middle values (0.23 vs. 0.16). A spatial division between the affluent south and the deprived north and east is still visible. The UHI correlated on an ecological ward-level with socioeconomic and urban environment indicators like square meter price of apartments (0.54, p health and equity have improved in Rio de Janeiro in the last decade though some familiar patterns of spatial inequality remain. PMID:26648367
Rueda, S; Artazcoz, L; Navarro, V
This paper analyses gender inequalities in health status and in social determinants of health among the elderly in western Europe. Data came from the first wave of the "Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe" (2004). For the purposes of this study a subsample of community-residing people aged 65-85 years with no paid work was selected (4218 men and 5007 women). Multiple logistic regression models separated by sex and adjusted for age and country were fitted. Women were more likely to report poor health status, limitations in mobility and poor mental health. Whereas in both sexes educational attainment was associated with the three health indicators, household income was only related to poor self-rated health among women. The relationship between living arrangements and health differed by gender and was primarily associated with poor mental health. In both sexes, not living with their partner but living with other people and being the household head was related to poor mental health status (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.14; 95% CI 1.11 to 4.14 for men and aOR 1.75; 95% CI 1.12 to 2.72 for women). In addition, women living with their partner and other(s) and those living alone were more likely to report poor mental health status (aOR 1.67; 95% CI 1.17 to 2.41 and aOR 1.58; 95% CI 1.26 to 1.97, respectively). Health inequalities persist among the elderly. Women have poorer health status than men and in both sexes the risk of poor health status increases among those with low educational attainment. Living arrangements are primarily associated with poor mental health status with patterns that differ by gender.
This paper contributes to the debate over the effectiveness of education policies in reducing overall health inequalities as compared to public health actions directed at the less-educated. Recentered Influence Function (RIF) regressions are used to decompose the contribution of education to the changing distribution of Body Mass Index (BMI) in France, between 1981 and 2003, into a composition effect (the shift in population education due to a massive educational expansion), and a structure effect (a changing educational gradient in BMI). Educational expansion has reduced overall BMI inequality by 3.4% for women and 2.3% for men. However, the structure effect on its own has produced a 10.9% increase in overall inequality for women, due to a steeper education gradient starting from the second quartile of the distribution. This structure effect on overall inequality is also large (7.6%) for men, albeit insignificant as it remains concentrated in the last decile. Educational expansion policies can thus reduce overall BMI inequalities; but attention must still be paid to the BMI gradient in education even for policies addressing overall rather than socioeconomic health inequalities.
Elgar, Frank J.; Pförtner, Timo Kolja; Moor, Irene; De Clercq, Bart; Stevens, Gonneke W J M; Currie, Candace
Background Information about trends in adolescent health inequalities is scarce, especially at an international level. We examined secular trends in socioeconomic inequality in five domains of adolescent health and the association of socioeconomic inequality with national wealth and income inequalit
Dias, Elizabeth Costa; Oliveira, Roberval Passos de; Machado, Jorge H; Minayo-Gomez, Carlos; Perez, Marco Antonio Gomes; Hoefel, Maria da Graça L; Santana, Vilma Sousa
This paper was prepared for the Employment Conditions and Health Inequalities Knowledge Network (EMCONET), part of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. We describe the Brazilian context of employment conditions, labor conditions and health, their characteristics and causal relationships. The social, political and economic factors that influence these relationships are also presented with an emphasis on social inequalities, and how they are reproduced within the labor market and thereby affect the health and wellbeing of workers. A literature review was conducted in SciELO, LILACS, Google and Google Scholar, MEDLINE and the CAPES Brazilian thesis database. We observed that there are more workers operating in the informal sector than in the formal sector and these former have no social insurance or any other social benefits. Work conditions and health are poor in both informal and formal enterprises since health and safety labor norms are not effective. The involvement of social movements and labor unions in the elaboration and management of workers' health polices and programs with universal coverage, is a promising initiative that is underway nationwide.
Maria Luisa Lima; Rita Morais
Abstract Health inequalities are very well documented in epidemiological research: rich people live longer and have fewer diseases than poor people. Recently, a growing amount of evidence from environmental sciences confirms that poor people are also more exposed to pollution and other environmental threats. However, research in the social sciences has shown a broad lack of awareness about health inequalities. In this paper, based on data collected in Portugal, we will analyze the consciousne...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Existing studies are divided as to whether social inequalities in health widen or converge as people age. In part this is due to reliance on cross-sectional data, but also among longitudinal studies to differences in the measurement of both socioeconomic status (SES and health and in the treatment of survival effects. The aim of this paper is to examine social inequalities in health as people age using longitudinal data from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study to investigate the effect of selective mortality, the timing of the SES measure and cohort on the inequality patterns. Methods The Twenty-07 Study has followed three cohorts, born around 1932, 1952 and 1972, from 1987/8 to 2007/8; 4,510 respondents were interviewed at baseline and, at the most recent follow-up, 2,604 were interviewed and 674 had died. Hierarchical repeated-measures models were estimated for self-assessed health status, with and without mortality, with baseline or time-varying social class, sex and cohort. Results Social inequalities in health emerge around the age of 30 after which they widen until the early 60s and then begin to narrow, converging around the age of 75. This pattern is a result of those in manual classes reporting poor health at younger ages, with the gap narrowing as the health of those in non-manual classes declines at older ages. However, employing a more proximal measure of SES reduces inequalities in middle age so that convergence of inequalities is not apparent in old age. Including death in the health outcome steepens the health trajectories at older ages, especially for manual classes, eliminating the convergence in health inequalities, suggesting that healthy survival effects are important. Cohort effects do not appear to affect the pattern of inequalities in health as people age in this study. Conclusions There is a general belief that social inequalities in health appear to narrow at older ages; however, taking account of
Introduction Recent research on health inequalities moves beyond illustrating the importance of psychosocial factors for health to a more in-depth study of the specific psychosocial pathways involved. Social capital is a concept that captures both a buffer function of the social environment on health, as well as potential negative effects arising from social inequality and exclusion. This systematic review assesses the current evidence, and identifies gaps in knowledge, on the associations and interactions between social capital and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Methods Through this systematic review we identified studies on the interactions between social capital and socioeconomic inequalities in health published before July 2012. Results The literature search resulted in 618 studies after removal of duplicates, of which 60 studies were eligible for analysis. Self-reported measures of health were most frequently used, together with different bonding, bridging and linking components of social capital. A large majority, 56 studies, confirmed a correlation between social capital and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Twelve studies reported that social capital might buffer negative health effects of low socioeconomic status and five studies concluded that social capital has a stronger positive effect on health for people with a lower socioeconomic status. Conclusions There is evidence for both a buffer effect and a dependency effect of social capital on socioeconomic inequalities in health, although the studies that assess these interactions are limited in number. More evidence is needed, as identified hypotheses have implications for community action and for action on the structural causes of social inequalities. PMID:23870068
I. Stirbu (Irina)
textabstractThe international evidence on socioeconomic inequalities in health is compelling: in all European countries, people who live in disadvantaged circumstances have poorer health, more disability and shorter lives than those who are more affluent. Also, the health of migrants is often poorer
Gupta, E; Robinson, P G; Marya, C M; Baker, S R
Recent research has emphasized the relationships between environmental and individual factors that may influence population oral health and lead to health inequalities. However, little is known about the effect of interactions between environmental and individual factors on inequalities in clinical (e.g., decayed teeth) and subjective oral health outcomes (e.g., oral health-related quality of life [OHQoL]). This cohort study aimed to explore the direct and mediated longitudinal interrelationships between key environmental and individual factors on clinical and subjective oral health outcomes in adults. Self-reported measures of OHQoL and individual (sense of coherence [SOC], social support, stress, oral health beliefs, dental behaviors, and subjective socioeconomic status [SES]) and environmental factors (SES and social network) were collected at baseline and 3-mo follow-up, together with a baseline clinical examination of 495 adult employees of an automobile parts manufacturer in India. Lagged structural equation modeling was guided by the adapted Wilson and Cleary/Brunner and Marmot model linking clinical, individual, and environmental variables to quality of life. The study provides tentative evidence that SES may influence levels of resources such as social support and SOC, which mediate stress and in turn may influence subjective oral health outcomes. Accordingly, the present findings and the adapted Wilson and Cleary/Brunner and Marmot model on which they are predicted provide support for the psychosocial pathway being key in the SES-oral health relationship. The pathways through which environmental factors interact with individual factors to impact subjective oral health outcomes identified here may bring opportunities for more targeted oral health promotion strategies.
Naaldenberg, J.; Banks, R.; Lennox, N.; Ouellette-Kunz, H.; Meijer, M.; Schrojenstein Lantman, H.M. van
BACKGROUND: The current understanding of health inequities in people with intellectual disabilities does not readily translate into improvements in health status or health care. To identify opportunities for action, the 2013 IASSIDD health SIRG conference organized ten intensive workshops. MATERIALS
Full Text Available This study aimed to confirm the association between the community water fluoridation (CWF programme and dental caries prevention on permanent teeth, comparing to a control area, neighbouring population without the programme, and verifying whether the programme can reduce the socio-economic inequality related to the oral health of children in Korea. Evaluation surveys were conducted among 6-, 8-, and 11-year-old children living in Okcheon (CWF and neighbouring Yeongdong (non-CWF, control area towns in South Korea. Data on monthly family income, caregiver educational level, and Family Affluence Scale scores were evaluated using questionnaires that were distributed to the parents. The effectiveness of CWF in caries reduction was calculated based on the differences in decayed, missing, and filled teeth and decayed, missing, and filled tooth surfaces indices between the two towns. The data were analysed using logistic regression and univariate analysis of variance. Both 8- and 11-year-old children living in the CWF area had lower dental caries prevalence than those living in the non-CWF community. Differences in dental caries prevalence based on educational level were found in the control area but not in the CWF area. Socio-economic factor-related inequality in oral health were observed in the non-CWF community. Additionally, 8- and 11-year-old children living in the CWF area displayed lower dental caries prevalence in the pit-and-fissure and smooth surfaces than those living in the non-CWF community. These results suggest that CWF programmes are effective in the prevention of caries on permanent teeth and can reduce oral health inequalities among children. The implementation of CWF programmes should be sustained to overcome oral health inequalities due to socio-economic factors and improve children’s overall oral health.
Gunning-Schepers, L J; Stronks, K
In discussions about equity there is a tendency to focus on the inequalities in health status that appear to be the result of the material and immaterial consequences of a lower income, professional or social status in society. If we look at publications such as the Black Report in the UK or Ongelijke gezondheid in The Netherlands, we have to accept that despite our universal access to healthcare and the existence in many Western countries of social security measures that preclude 'real' poverty, considerable differences in health continue to exist between socioeconomic groups. This is corroborated for many other European countries in the research carried out by a concerted action led by Mackenbach. These inequalities in health have been referred to in many countries as inequities, meaning that society finds them unjust and expects them to be 'avoidable' or amenable to policy interventions. However, the research on the causal networks underlying the occurrence and the avoidability of inequalities in health remains sparse and intervention studies seem to focus on policy measures that can be evaluated, but which will most likely have a limited impact on the inequalities measured at the population level. Thus the research community leaves policymakers with very little evidence on which to build policy initiatives that are nevertheless requested by many governments. The third element, which needs to be addressed in this context, is the ominous inequality in access to healthcare. Since the debate on equity in health has rightly been initiated in the context of a broader, more intersectoral approach to health policy, very little attention has been paid, so far, to the issue of universal access to quality healthcare services. This is because in the second half of this century most Western (European) countries have created a healthcare system with universal access, financed either through taxation or through social insurance schemes. It is these financing systems that will
There has been a recent upsurge of interest in the relationship between income inequality and health within nations and between nations. On the latter topic Wilkinson and others believe that, in the advanced capitalist countries, higher income inequality leads to lowered social cohesion which in turn produces poorer health status. I argue that, despite a by-now voluminous literature, not enough attention has been paid to the social context of income inequality--health relationships or to the causes of income inequality itself. In this paper I contend that there is a particular affinity between neo-liberal (market-oriented) political doctrines, income inequality and lowered social cohesion. Neo-liberalism, it is argued, produces both higher income inequality and lowered social cohesion. Part of the negative effect of neo-liberalism on health status is due to its undermining of the welfare state. The welfare state may have direct effects on health as well as being one of the underlying structural causes of social cohesion. The rise of neo-liberalism and the decline of the welfare state are themselves tied to globalization and the changing class structures of the advanced capitalist societies. More attention should be paid to understanding the causes of income inequalities and not just to its effects because income inequalities are neither necessary nor inevitable. Moreover, understanding the contextual causes of inequality may also influence our notion of the causal pathways involved in inequality-health status relationships (and vice versa).
T.J. Galama (Titus); J.L.W. Kippersluis, van (Hans)
textabstractWe explore what health-capital theory has to offer in terms of informing and directing research into health inequality. We argue that economic theory can help in identifying mechanisms through which specific socioeconomic indicators and health interact. Our reading of the literature, and
T.J. Galama (Titus); J.L.W. Kippersluis, van (Hans)
textabstractWe explore what health-capital theory has to offer in terms of informing and directing research into health inequality. We argue that economic theory can help in identifying mechanisms through which specific socioeconomic indicators and health interact. Our reading of the literature, and
Razzaque, Abdur; Streatfield, Peter Kim; Gwatkin, Dave R
.... The study examined socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and child mortality using data from the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal...
Holly, Deirdre; Sharp, John
People with learning disabilities are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Research suggests this may be due to inequalities in health status and inequities in the way health services respond to need. Little is known about the most effective way to improve health outcomes for people with learning disabilities. A previously developed…
Holly, Deirdre; Sharp, John
People with learning disabilities are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Research suggests this may be due to inequalities in health status and inequities in the way health services respond to need. Little is known about the most effective way to improve health outcomes for people with learning disabilities. A previously developed…
Within the analysis of the socio-economic context and the data from hospital discharges, the themes of social inequalities, health disparities, determinants of health care are discussed. Regular immigrants versus irregular, wealthy people versus those in poverty, they have access to and receive different health treatments, besides presenting risk conditions significantly different in relation to their social situation. Through the analysis of hospital discharge records as well as data from injuries at work, besides underestimations in foreign people and the greater risk of injuries for immigrants, it is evident how the aspects of inequalities connected to socioeconomic determinants and the different access to health services are pivotal for our health and welfare and that a profound change is required to tackle them properly, focusing on intervention on health care system, according to models which take into account not only evidence based medicine, but also narrative medicine, not only health protection, but also health promotion, so that equity and quality of health care is warranted for everyone.
Thomson, Katie; Bambra, Clare; McNamara, Courtney; Huijts, Tim; Todd, Adam
The welfare state is potentially an important macro-level determinant of health that also moderates the extent, and impact, of socio-economic inequalities in exposure to the social determinants of health. The welfare state has three main policy domains: health care, social policy (e.g. social transfers and education) and public health policy. This is the protocol for an umbrella review to examine the latter; its aim is to assess how European welfare states influence the social determinants of health inequalities institutionally through public health policies. A systematic review methodology will be used to identify systematic reviews from high-income countries (including additional EU-28 members) that describe the health and health equity effects of upstream public health interventions. Interventions will focus on primary and secondary prevention policies including fiscal measures, regulation, education, preventative treatment and screening across ten public health domains (tobacco; alcohol; food and nutrition; reproductive health services; the control of infectious diseases; screening; mental health; road traffic injuries; air, land and water pollution; and workplace regulations). Twenty databases will be searched using a pre-determined search strategy to evaluate population-level public health interventions. Understanding the impact of specific public health policy interventions will help to establish causality in terms of the effects of welfare states on population health and health inequalities. The review will document contextual information on how population-level public health interventions are organised, implemented and delivered. This information can be used to identify effective interventions that could be implemented to reduce health inequalities between and within European countries. PROSPERO CRD42016025283.
Full Text Available Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4 calls for reducing mortality of children under-five years by two-thirds by 2015. Indonesia is on track to officially meet the MDG 4 targets by 2015 but progress has been far from universal. It has been argued that national level statistics, on which MDG 4 relies, obscure persistent health inequities within the country. Particularly inequities in child health are a major global public health challenge both for achieving MDG 4 in 2015 and beyond. This review aims to map out the situation of MDG 4 with respect to disadvantaged populations in Indonesia applying the Social Determinants of Health (SDH framework. The specific objectives are to answer: Who are the disadvantaged populations? Where do they live? And why and how is the inequitable distribution of health explained in terms of the SDH framework?We retrieved studies through a systematic review of peer-reviewed and gray literature published in 1995-2014. The PRISMA-Equity 2012 statement was adapted to guide the methods of this review. The dependent variables were MDG 4-related indicators; the independent variable "disadvantaged populations" was defined by different categories of social differentiation using PROGRESS. Included texts were analyzed following the guidelines for deductive content analysis operationalized on the basis of the SDH framework. We identified 83 studies establishing evidence on more than 40 different determinants hindering an equitable distribution of child health in Indonesia. The most prominent determinants arise from the shortcomings within the rural health care system, the repercussions of food poverty coupled with low health literacy among parents, the impact of low household decision-making power of mothers, and the consequences of high persistent use of traditional birth attendants among ethnic minorities.This review calls for enhanced understanding of the determinants and pathways that create, detain, and overcome inequities in
Hargreaves, Dougal S; Djafari Marbini, Aghileh; Viner, Russell M
To investigate trends in health inequality among children and young people between 1999 and 2009, using outcomes consistent with the current NHS reforms. Secondary analysis of participants aged 0-24 in the Health Surveys for England (HSE) undertaken in 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2009. Changes in the absolute and relative risks of four health outcomes by deprivation tertiles, based on occupation of the head of household: self/parent-reported general health; presence of a long-standing illness (LSI); obesity; smoking. No indicator showed a reduction in relative or absolute inequality between 1999 and 2009. For children (0-12 years), the relative risk comparing the most and least deprived tertiles increased significantly for poor general health (1999:1.6 (95% CI 1.2 to 2.2); 2009:3.9 (2.4 to 6.2), while the absolute difference in LSI prevalence(%) increased from 1.3 (-2.9 to 5.5) to 7.4 (3.6 to 11.4). Among young people (13-24 years), the absolute difference in LSI prevalence increased from -5.9 (-10.9 to -1.1) to 3.1 (-4.1 to 10.7). Absolute inequality in having tried smoking among children aged 8-15(%) increased significantly in the first half of the decade before decreasing in the second half (1999:3.3 (-1.1 to 7.7); 2004:14.1 (9.6 to 18.8); 2009:4.1 (0.1 to 8.8)). However, the increase in absolute inequality for smoking prevalence among young adults (16-24 years) was maintained throughout the decade (1999:-7.0 (-15.6 to 1.3); 2004:11.6 (3.7 to 20.0); 2009:8.2 (-0.3 to 16.9)). The national programme between 1999 and 2009 was not successful in reducing inequality in four key indicators of health status and future health risk among children and young people. Some inequality measures for general health, LSI prevalence and smoking increased over this time.
Simon, Dan; Simon, Donald L.
Kalman filters are often used to estimate the state variables of a dynamic system. However, in the application of Kalman filters some known signal information is often either ignored or dealt with heuristically. For instance, state variable constraints (which may be based on physical considerations) are often neglected because they do not fit easily into the structure of the Kalman filter. This paper develops two analytic methods of incorporating state variable inequality constraints in the Kalman filter. The first method is a general technique of using hard constraints to enforce inequalities on the state variable estimates. The resultant filter is a combination of a standard Kalman filter and a quadratic programming problem. The second method uses soft constraints to estimate state variables that are known to vary slowly with time. (Soft constraints are constraints that are required to be approximately satisfied rather than exactly satisfied.) The incorporation of state variable constraints increases the computational effort of the filter but significantly improves its estimation accuracy. The improvement is proven theoretically and shown via simulation results. The use of the algorithm is demonstrated on a linearized simulation of a turbofan engine to estimate health parameters. The turbofan engine model contains 16 state variables, 12 measurements, and 8 component health parameters. It is shown that the new algorithms provide improved performance in this example over unconstrained Kalman filtering.
Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Basu, Sanjay; Balabanova, Dina; McKee, Martin; Stuckler, David
Despite a tremendous increase in financial resources, many countries are not on track to achieve the child and maternal mortality targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. It is commonly argued that two main social factors - improved democratic governance and aggregate income - will ultimately lead to progress in reducing child and maternal mortality. However, these two factors alone may be insufficient to achieve progress in settings where there is a high level of social division. To test the effects of growth and democratisation, and their interaction with social inequalities, we regressed data on child and maternal mortality rates for 192 countries against internationally used indexes of income, democracy, and population inequality (including income, ethnic, linguistic, and religious divisions) covering the period 1970-2007. We found that a higher degree of social division, especially ethnic and linguistic fractionalisation, was significantly associated with greater child and maternal mortality rates. We further found that, even in democratic states, greater social division was associated with lower overall population access to healthcare and lesser expansion of health system infrastructure. Perversely, while greater democratisation and aggregate income were associated with reduced maternal and child mortality overall, in regions with high levels of ethnic fragmentation the health benefits of democratisation and rising income were undermined and, at high levels of inequality reversed, so that democracy and growth were adversely related to child and maternal mortality. These findings are consistent with literature suggesting that high degrees of social division in the context of democratisation can strengthen the power of dominant elite and ethnic groups in political decision-making, resulting in health and welfare policies that deprive minority groups (a health-inequality trap). Thus, we show that improving economic growth and democratic
Veugelers, P; Kim, A.; Guernsey, J.
STUDY OBJECTIVE—Simple measures of inequalities in health are proposed to facilitate the work of health policy makers and to build on the understanding of health differences between populations. In addition, it is aimed to make these measures applicable for comparisons of small populations and subgroups. METHODS—Inequalities in health or health deficiencies were quantified as the difference between the life expectancy of the subgroup of interest and that of the national population. Health def...
Mikkelsen, Bent Egberg
This case study focuses on school meal provision and its potential contribution to reducing social inequalities in health and improving learning outcomes among children and adolescents, using national approaches to school food services in Denmark and Sweden as examples. It describes the overall...... structure of the provision of school meals in the two countries and presents three cases in which participation, social inequalities in health and learning outcomes have been addressed. These cases contribute to the debate on the future of school meal provision and the potential for such provision to play...
Munga Michael A
Full Text Available Abstract Background The overall human resource shortages and the distributional inequalities in the health workforce in many developing countries are well acknowledged. However, little has been done to measure the degree of inequality systematically. Moreover, few attempts have been made to analyse the implications of using alternative measures of health care needs in the measurement of health workforce distributional inequalities. Most studies have implicitly relied on population levels as the only criterion for measuring health care needs. This paper attempts to achieve two objectives. First, it describes and measures health worker distributional inequalities in Tanzania on a per capita basis; second, it suggests and applies additional health care needs indicators in the measurement of distributional inequalities. Methods We plotted Lorenz and concentration curves to illustrate graphically the distribution of the total health workforce and the cadre-specific (skill mix distributions. Alternative indicators of health care needs were illustrated by concentration curves. Inequalities were measured by calculating Gini and concentration indices. Results There are significant inequalities in the distribution of health workers per capita. Overall, the population quintile with the fewest health workers per capita accounts for only 8% of all health workers, while the quintile with the most health workers accounts for 46%. Inequality is perceptible across both urban and rural districts. Skill mix inequalities are also large. Districts with a small share of the health workforce (relative to their population levels have an even smaller share of highly trained medical personnel. A small share of highly trained personnel is compensated by a larger share of clinical officers (a middle-level cadre but not by a larger share of untrained health workers. Clinical officers are relatively equally distributed. Distributional inequalities tend to be more pronounced
Bórquez Polloni, B
Contrary to what one may think health and equity are not issues that have always gone hand in hand following the formal recognition of the former by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). It was not until the Alma Ata Declaration in 1978 when the close ties between both began to be seriously considered, and in 2000 this led to several international organizations formalizing their concern for the factors that determine whether a health system is fair or not. Since then, the term «equity in health» has taken on a special meaning when weighing up the strength or weaknesses of certain health systems. However, over the years, equity in health has gradually been identified almost exclusively with a financial issue that focuses on distributing health resources. As a result, one often forgets to provide the necessary care for those in other unfair situations, which, as regards access to and providing health care, leads to unfair situations that are not directly related to financial reasons and do not require investments, but consensus and the honest determination to make changes. This leads the Bioethics of the 21st century to face two challenges: to warn of these inequities and to promote initiatives that are able to make effective changes. Copyright © 2013 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
De Maio, Fernando G
Despite a large body of empirical literature, a consensus has not been reached concerning the health effects of income inequality. This study contributes to ongoing debates by examining the robustness of the income inequality-population health relationship in Argentina, using five different income inequality indexes (each sensitive to inequalities in differing parts of the income spectrum) and five measures of population health. Cross-sectional, ecological study. Income and self-reported morbidity data from Argentina's 2001 Encuesta de Condiciones de Vida (Survey of living conditions) were analysed at the provincial level. Provincial rates of male/female life expectancy and infant mortality were drawn from the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos database. Life expectancy was correlated in the expected direction with provincial-level income inequality (operationalized as the Gini coefficient) for both males (r=-0.55, P<0.01) and females (r=-0.61, P<0.01), but this association was not robust for all five income inequality indexes. In contrast, infant mortality, self-reported poor health and self-reported activity limitation were not correlated with any of the income inequality indexes. This study adds further complexity to the literature on the health effects of income inequality by highlighting the important effects of operational definitions. Mortality and morbidity data cannot be used as reasonably interchangeable variables (a common practice in this literature), and the choice of income inequality indicator may influence the results.
Eikemo, Terje Andreas; Huisman, Martijn; Perlman, Francesca; Ringdal, Kristen
Background: An important gap in our knowledge of social inequalities in health is the former Yugoslavia, a region of culturally and historically diverse countries, with recent conflict. The aim of the present paper is to investigate relative and absolute inequalities in self-assessed health in forme
Hiyoshi, Ayako; Fukuda, Yoshiharu; Shipley, Martin J; Brunner, Eric J
The extent that risk factors, identified in Western countries, account for health inequalities in Japan remains unclear. We analysed a nationally representative sample (Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions surveyed in 2001 (n = 40,243)). The cross-sectional association between self-rated fair or poor health and household income and a theory-based occupational social class was summarised using the relative index of inequality [RII]. The percentage attenuation in RII accounted for by candidate contributory factors - material, psychosocial, social relational and behavioural - was computed. The results showed that the RII for household income based on self-rated fair or poor health was reduced after including the four candidate contributory factors in the model by 20% (95% CI 2.1, 43.6) and 44% (95% CI 18.2, 92.5) in men and women, respectively. The RII for the Japanese Socioeconomic Classification [J-SEC] was reduced, not significantly, by 22% (95% CI -6.3, 100.0) in men in the corresponding model, while J-SEC was not associated with self-rated health in women. Material factors produced the most consistent and strong attenuation in RII for both socioeconomic indicators, while the contributions attributable to behaviour alone were modest. Social relational factors consistently attenuated the RII for both socioeconomic indicators in men whereas they did not make an independent contribution in women. The influence of perceived stress was inconsistent and depended on the socioeconomic indicator used. In summary, social inequalities in self-rated fair or poor health were reduced to a degree by the factors included. The results indicate that the levelling of health across the socioeconomic hierarchy needs to consider a wide range of factors, including material and psychosocial factors, in addition to the behavioural factors upon which the current public health policies in Japan focus. The analyses in this study need to be replicated using a longitudinal study design
Nelson, Kenneth; Tøge, Anne Grete
The financial crisis that hit Europe in 2007-2008 and the corresponding austerity policies have generated concern about increasing health inequalities, although impacts have been less salient than initially expected. One explanation could be that health inequalities emerged first a few years into the crisis. This study investigates health trends in the wake of the financial crisis and analyses health inequalities across a number of relevant population subgroups, including those defined by employment status, age, family type, gender, and educational attainment. This study uses individual-level panel data (EU-SILC, 2010-2013) to investigate trends in self-rated health. By applying individual fixed effects regression models, the study estimates the average yearly change in self-rated health for persons aged 15-64 years in 28 European countries. Health inequalities are investigated using stratified analyses. Unemployed respondents, particularly those who were unemployed in all years of observation, had a steeper decline in self-rated health than the employed. Respondents of prime working age (25-54 years) had a steeper decline than their younger (15-24) and older (55-64) counterparts, while single parents had a more favorable trend in self-rated health than dual parents. We did not observe any increasing health inequalities based on gender or educational attainment. Health inequalities increased in the wake of the financial crisis, especially those associated with employment status, age, and family type. We did not observe increasing health inequalities in terms of levels of educational attainment and gender.
McCluney, Courtney L; Schmitz, Lauren L; Hicken, Margaret T; Sonnega, Amanda
Structural racism has been linked to racial health inequalities and may operate through an unequal labor market that results in inequalities in psychosocial workplace environments (PWE). Experiences of the PWE may be a critical but understudied source of racial health disparities as most adults spend a large portion of their lives in the workplace, and work-related stress affects health outcomes. Further, it is not clear if the objective characteristics of the workplace are important for health inequalities or if these inequalities are driven by the perception of the workplace. Using data from the 2008 to 2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a probability-based sample of US adults 50 years of age and older and the Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET), we examine the role of both standardized, objective (O*NET) and survey-based, subjective (as in HRS) measures of PWEs on health and Black-White health inequalities. We find that Blacks experience more stressful PWEs and have poorer health as measured by self-rated health, episodic memory function, and mean arterial pressure. Mediation analyses suggest that these objective O*NET ratings, but not the subjective perceptions, partially explain the relationship between race and health. We discuss these results within the extant literature on workplace and health and health inequalities. Furthermore, we discuss the use of standardized objective measures of the PWE to capture racial inequalities in workplace environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Morcillo Cebolla, Victoria; de Lorenzo-Cáceres Ascanio, Antonio; Domínguez Ruiz de León, Paloma; Rodríguez Barrientos, Ricardo; Torijano Castillo, María José
Recent publications have concluded that there are social health inequalities in people older than 65 years in Spain, especially among women and people with low socioeconomic status. Self-perceived health is an indicator that is related to the possibility of chronic disease, the use of health services, and mortality. The aim of this study was to assess inequalities in self-perceived health in relation to age, gender, socioeconomic factors, and functional dependence. A systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA criteria. An exhaustive search was performed in PubMed, WOK, Science Direct, EMBASE, IME, Cochrane, JSTOR, Ovid, Proquest, the BMJ Group and in Spanish doctoral theses up to April 2013. The quality of the studies was assessed by two independent editors through the Berra Tool. A total of 20 documents were selected. These studies were in agreement in the deterioration of self-perceived health among older people (except the oldest), in those with functional dependence, lower socioeconomic status, and in women. This review shows that, among older people, inequalities in self-perceived health due to socioeconomic status and gender have persisted in time. Future research is needed to cast light on the factors determining the persistence of these inequalities among older people, so that specific health policies can be designed for this sector of the population. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Espana.
Full Text Available The study aimed to investigate gender inequalities and their health associated factors in world countries. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken using data of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP and World Health Organization (WHO. The main variable in this study was gender inequality index (GII. All countries were stratified by WHO regions. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to assess the linear correlation between GII and investigated factors by WHO regions. The mean of GII was greater in Africa and lower in Europe region. There was negative significant association between GII and life expectancy at birth and mean years of schooling, prevalence of current tobacco smoking, high blood pressure and overweight and obesity, alcohol consumption rate, and cancer death rate. But there was positive significant association between GII and noncommunicable diseases death rates. In conclusion, gender inequalities, though decreasing over the past decades in world, remain notably greater in Africa and Eastern Mediterranean regions than in Europe. Gender inequality is also an important issue which is related to health factors. Hence, countries will need to focus on public health intervention and equal distribution of economic resources to reduce gender inequality in society.
Santric-Milicevic, Milena; Jankovic, Janko; Trajkovic, Goran; Terzic-Supic, Zorica; Babic, Uros; Petrovic, Marija
individuals, or those with partner, and employed persons. Those with perceived good health status had lower odds for poor MHI-5, chronic anxiety or depression than those whose general health was average and poor. Conclusion: Almost half of the population assessed their mental health as poor and 5% had diagnosed chronic anxiety or depression. Multi-sectoral socioeconomic and female-sensitive policies should be wisely tailored to reduce mental health inequalities contributed by differences in age, education, employment, marriage and the wealth status of the adult population. PMID:26966616
Full Text Available Abstract Background In recent years, interest in the study of inequalities in health has not stopped at quantifying their magnitude; explaining the sources of inequalities has also become of great importance. This paper measures socioeconomic inequalities in self-reported morbidity and self-assessed health in Thailand, and the contributions of different population subgroups to those inequalities. Methods The Health and Welfare Survey 2003 conducted by the Thai National Statistical Office with 37,202 adult respondents is used for the analysis. The health outcomes of interest derive from three self-reported morbidity and two self-assessed health questions. Socioeconomic status is measured by adult-equivalent monthly income per household member. The concentration index (CI of ill health is used as a measure of socioeconomic health inequalities, and is subsequently decomposed into contributing factors. Results The CIs reveal inequality gradients disadvantageous to the poor for both self-reported morbidity and self-assessed health in Thailand. The magnitudes of these inequalities were higher for the self-assessed health outcomes than for the self-reported morbidity outcomes. Age and sex played significant roles in accounting for the inequality in reported chronic illness (33.7 percent of the total inequality observed, hospital admission (27.8 percent, and self-assessed deterioration of health compared to a year ago (31.9 percent. The effect of being female and aged 60 years or older was by far the strongest demographic determinant of inequality across all five types of health outcome. Having a low socioeconomic status as measured by income quintile, education and work status were the main contributors disadvantaging the poor in self-rated health compared to a year ago (47.1 percent and self-assessed health compared to peers (47.4 percent. Residence in the rural Northeast and rural North were the main regional contributors to inequality in self
Experiments suggest that when people can see wealth inequality in their social network, this propels further inequality through reduced cooperation and reduced social connectivity. News & Views comment on Nishi et al, Nature 526, 2015, p. 426-429.
Fosse, Elisabeth; Bull, Torill; Burström, Bo; Fritzell, Sara
This article focuses on differences in health and welfare outcomes for families with children in three European countries, discussed in relation to national policies for child and family welfare. Data consist of policy documents and cross-national surveys. The document analysis was based on policy documents that described government policies. The statistical analyses utilize data from the European Social Survey. For the analyses in this article, a sub-sample of child families was selected from the countries Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Data showed that England's policy has mainly addressed socially disadvantaged groups and areas. Sweden and Slovenia are mainly developing universal policies. The United Kingdom has high scores for subjective general health, but a steep income gradient in the population. Parents in England experience the highest level of at-risk-of-poverty. Sweden generally scores well on health outcomes and on level of at-risk-of-poverty, and the gradient in self-rated general health is the mildest. Slovenia has the weakest economy, but low levels of inequality and low child at-risk-for-poverty scores. The Slovenian example suggests that not only the level of economic wealth, but also its distribution in the population, has bearings on health and life satisfaction, not least on the health of children.
Few sociologists dissent from the notion that the mid- to late 1970s witnessed a shift in capitalism's modus operandi. Its association with a rapid increase of social and material inequality is beyond dispute. This article opens with a brief summation of contemporary British trends in economic inequalities, and finds an echo of these trends in health inequalities. It is suggested that the sociology of health inequalities in Britain lacks an analysis of agency, and that such an analysis is crucial. A case is made that the recent critical realist contribution of Margaret Archer on 'internal conversations' lends itself to an understanding of agency that is salient here. The article develops her typology of internal conversations to present characterizations of the 'focused autonomous reflexives' whose mind-sets are causally efficacious for producing and reproducing inequalities, and the 'dedicated meta-reflexives' whose casts of mind might yet predispose them to mobilize resistance to inequalities.
Idrovo,Alvaro J.; Ruiz-Rodríguez,Myriam; Manzano-Patiño,Abigail P
OBJECTIVE: To analyze whether the relationship between income inequality and human health is mediated through social capital, and whether political regime determines differences in income inequality and social capital among countries. METHODS: Path analysis of cross sectional ecological data from 110 countries. Life expectancy at birth was the outcome variable, and income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient), social capital (measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index or generalized...
The 2014 SERA Lecture provides an overview of the concept of inclusive pedagogy, a distinctive approach to classroom teaching offering an alternative pedagogical approach that has the potential to reduce educational inequality by enhancing learning opportunities for everyone. Inclusive pedagogy focuses on improving the quality of mainstream…
Borrell, Carme; Palència, Laia; Muntaner, Carles; Urquía, Marcelo; Malmusi, Davide; O'Campo, Patricia
Gender inequalities in health have been widely described, but few studies have examined the upstream sources of these inequalities in health. The objectives of this review are 1) to identify empirical papers that assessed the effect of gender equality policies on gender inequalities in health or on women's health by using between-country (or administrative units within a country) comparisons and 2) to provide an example of published evidence on the effects of a specific policy (parental leave) on women's health. We conducted a literature search covering the period from 1970 to 2012, using several bibliographical databases. We assessed 1,238 abstracts and selected 19 papers that considered gender equality policies, compared several countries or different states in 1 country, and analyzed at least 1 health outcome among women or compared between genders. To illustrate specific policy effects, we also selected articles that assessed associations between parental leave and women's health. Our review partially supports the hypothesis that Nordic social democratic welfare regimes and dual-earner family models best promote women's health. Meanwhile, enforcement of reproductive policies, mainly studied across US states, is associated with better mental health outcomes, although less with other outcomes. Longer paid maternity leave was also generally associated with better mental health and longer duration of breastfeeding.
Muntaner, C; Nagoshi, C; Diala, C
Middle-class whites' explanations for racial inequalities in health can have a profound impact on the type of questions addressed in epidemiology and public health research. These explanations also constitute a subset of white racial ideology (i.e., racism) that in itself powerfully affects the health of non-whites. This study begins to examine the nature of attributions for racial inequalities in health among university students who by definition are likely to be involved in the research, policy, and service professions (the upper middle class). Investigation of the degree to which middle-class whites attribute racial inequalities in cardiovascular health (between themselves and African Americans, American Indians, or Asian Americans) to biological, social, or lifestyle factors reveals that whites tend to attribute their own health to lifestyle choice and to biology rather than to social factors. These results suggest that contemporary middle-class whites' "self-serving" explanations for racial inequalities in health are comprised of two beliefs: implicit biologism (race is an attribute of organisms rather than a social relation) and liberal belief in self-determination, choice, and individual responsibility--some of the core lay beliefs of the worldview that sustains neoliberal capitalism. Contemporary white middle-class explanations for racial inequalities in health appear to include assumptions that justify class inequality. Liberal approaches to racism in public health are bound to miss a key component of racial ideology that is currently used to justify racial and class inequalities.
Elwér, Sofia; Aléx, Lena; Hammarström, Anne
Gendered practices of working life create gender inequalities through horizontal and vertical gender segregation in work, which may lead to inequalities in health between women and men. Gender equality could therefore be a key element of health equity in working life. Our aim was to analyze what gender (in)equality means for the employees at a woman-dominated workplace and discuss possible implications for health experiences. All caregiving staff at two workplaces in elder care within a municipality in the north of Sweden were invited to participate in the study. Forty-five employees participated, 38 women and 7 men. Seven focus group discussions were performed and led by a moderator. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the focus groups. We identified two themes. "Advocating gender equality in principle" showed how gender (in)equality was seen as a structural issue not connected to the individual health experiences. "Justifying inequality with individualism" showed how the caregivers focused on personalities and interests as a justification of gender inequalities in work division. The justification of gender inequality resulted in a gendered work division which may be related to health inequalities between women and men. Gender inequalities in work division were primarily understood in terms of personality and interests and not in terms of gender. The health experience of the participants was affected by gender (in)equality in terms of a gendered work division. However, the participants did not see the gendered work division as a gender equality issue. Gender perspectives are needed to improve the health of the employees at the workplaces through shifting from individual to structural solutions. A healthy-setting approach considering gender relations is needed to achieve gender equality and fairness in health status between women and men.
This paper examines the link between health inequalities, air pollution and political institutions. In health economics literature, many studies have assessed the association between environmental degradation and health outcomes. This paper extends this literature by investigating how air pollution could explain health inequalities both between and within developing countries, and the role of political institutions in this relationship. Theoretically, we argue that differential in exposition ...
Kurdija, Slavko; Malnar, Brina
Background: Historically speaking, public health systems were established to guarantee every citizen equal access to health care and to separate the issue of an individual's health from issues of material welbeing. Using social science methodology, the study set out to explore how successful the welfare system in Slovenia was in achieving this goal during the last three decades, i.e. to what extent social inequalities in Slovenia are being reproduced as health inequalities. Methods: The study...
Hillier-Brown, Frances C; Bambra, Clare L; Cairns, Joanne-Marie; Kasim, Adetayo; Moore, Helen J; Summerbell, Carolyn D
Tackling childhood obesity is one of the major contemporary public health policy challenges and vital in terms of addressing socioeconomic health inequalities.We aimed to systematically review studies of the effectiveness of interventions (individual, community and societal) operating via different approaches (targeted or universal) in reducing socio-economic inequalities in obesity-related outcomes amongst children. Nine electronic databases were searched from start date to October 2012 along with website and grey literature searches. The review examined the best available international evidence from interventions that aimed to prevent obesity, treat obesity, or improve obesity-related behaviours (diet and/or physical activity) amongst children (aged 0-18 years) in any setting and country, so long as they provided relevant information and analysis on both socioeconomic status and obesity-related outcomes. Data extraction and quality appraisal were conducted using established mechanisms and narrative synthesis was conducted. We located 23 studies that provided the 'best available' (strongest methodologically) international evidence. At the individual level (n = 4), there was indicative evidence that screen time reduction and mentoring health promotion interventions could be effective in reducing inequalities in obesity. For the community level interventions (n = 17), evidence was inconclusive - with some studies suggesting that school-based health promotion activities and community-based group-based programmes were effective in reducing obesity - others not. Societal level evaluations were few (n = 1). However, there was no evidence to suggest that any of these intervention types increase inequalities and several studies found that interventions could at least prevent the widening of inequalities in obesity. The majority of studies were from America and were of 6-12 year old children. The review has found only limited evidence although some individual
Kristine Husøy Onarheim
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The fourth Millennium Development Goal calls for a two-thirds reduction in under-5 mortality between 1990 and 2015. Under-5 mortality rate is declining, but many countries are still far from achieving the goal. Effective child health interventions that could reduce child mortality exist, but national decision-makers lack contextual information for priority setting in their respective resource-constrained settings. We estimate the potential health impact of increasing coverage of 14 selected health interventions on child mortality in Ethiopia (2011-2015. We also explore the impact on life expectancy and inequality in the age of death (Gini(health. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used the Lives Saved Tool to estimate potential impact of scaling-up 14 health interventions in Ethiopia (2011-2015. Interventions are scaled-up to 1 government target levels, 2 90% coverage and 3 90% coverage of the five interventions with the highest impact. Under-5 mortality rate, neonatal mortality rate and deaths averted are primary outcome measures. We used modified life tables to estimate impact on life expectancy at birth and inequality in the age of death (Gini(health. Under-5 mortality rate declines from 101.0 in 2011 to 68.8, 42.1 and 56.7 per 1000 live births under these three scenarios. Prioritizing child health would also increase life expectancy at birth from expected 60.5 years in 2015 to 62.5, 64.2 and 63.4 years and reduce inequality in age of death (Gini(health substantially from 0.24 to 0.21, 0.18 and 0.19. CONCLUSIONS: The Millennium Development Goal for child health is reachable in Ethiopia. Prioritizing child health would also increase total life expectancy at birth and reduce inequality in age of death substantially (Gini(health.
Aida, Jun; Kondo, Katsunori; Kondo, Naoki; Watt, Richard G; Sheiham, Aubrey; Tsakos, Georgios
The erosion of social capital in more unequal societies is one mechanism for the association between income inequality and health. However, there are relatively few multi-level studies on the relation between income inequality, social capital and health outcomes. Existing studies have not used different types of health outcomes, such as dental status, a life-course measure of dental disease reflecting physical function in older adults, and self-rated health, which reflects current health status. The objective of this study was to assess whether individual and community social capital attenuated the associations between income inequality and two disparate health outcomes, self-rated health and dental status in Japan. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to subjects in an ongoing Japanese prospective cohort study, the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study Project in 2003. Responses in Aichi, Japan, obtained from 5715 subjects and 3451 were included in the final analysis. The Gini coefficient was used as a measure of income inequality. Trust and volunteering were used as cognitive and structural individual-level social capital measures. Rates of subjects reporting mistrust and non-volunteering in each local district were used as cognitive and structural community-level social capital variables respectively. The covariates were sex, age, marital status, education, individual- and community-level equivalent income and smoking status. Dichotomized responses of self-rated health and number of remaining teeth were used as outcomes in multi-level logistic regression models. Income inequality was significantly associated with poor dental status and marginally significantly associated with poor self-rated health. Community-level structural social capital attenuated the covariate-adjusted odds ratio of income inequality for self-rated health by 16% whereas the association between income inequality and dental status was not substantially changed by any social capital
Elgar, Frank J.; McKinnon, Britt; Torsheim, Torbjorn
in adolescents and their implications for health surveillance and policy. We examined health inequalities in 1371 adolescents in seven European countries using four measures of SEP: youth-reported material assets and subjective social status and parent-reported material assets and household income. For each SEP...... variable. Moreover, health inequalities defined by subjective social status did not change after differences in assets and income were statistically controlled. Although material assets yielded similar health inequalities as household income, the results suggest that subjective and objective SEP relate......Socioeconomic differences in health are ubiquitous across age groups, cultures, and health domains. However, variation in the size and pattern of health inequalities appears to relate to the measure of socioeconomic position (SEP) applied. Little attention has been paid to these differences...
Najman, Jake M; Aird, Rosemary; Bor, William; O'Callaghan, Michael; Williams, Gail M; Shuttlewood, Gregory J
Socioeconomic inequalities in the health of adults have been largely attributed to lifestyle inequalities. The cognitive development (CD) and emotional health (EH) of the child provides a basis for many of the health-related behaviours which are observed in adulthood. There has been relatively little attention paid to the way CD and EH are transmitted in the foetal and childhood periods, even though these provide a foundation for subsequent socioeconomic inequalities in adult health. The Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP) is a large, prospective, pre-birth cohort study which enrolled 8556 pregnant women at their first clinic visit over the period 1981-1983. These mothers (and their children) have been followed up at intervals until 14 years after the birth. The socioeconomic status of the child was measured using maternal age, family income, and marital status and the grandfathers' occupational status. Measures of child CD and child EH were obtained at 5 and 14 years of age. Child smoking at 14 years of age was also determined. Family income was related to all measures of child CD and EH and smoking, independently of all other indicators of the socioeconomic status of the child. In addition, the grandfathers' occupational status was independently related to child CD (at 5 and 14 years of age). Children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families (previous generations' socioeconomic status as well as current socioeconomic status) begin their lives with a poorer platform of health and a reduced capacity to benefit from the economic and social advances experienced by the rest of society.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous studies have reported large socioeconomic inequalities in mortality from conditions amenable to medical intervention, but it is unclear whether these can be attributed to inequalities in access or quality of health care, or to confounding influences such as inequalities in background risk of diseases. We therefore studied whether inequalities in mortality from conditions amenable to medical intervention vary between countries in patterns which differ from those observed for other (non-amenable causes of death. More specifically, we hypothesized that, as compared to non-amenable causes, inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are more strongly associated with inequalities in health care use and less strongly with inequalities in common risk factors for disease such as smoking. Methods Cause-specific mortality data for people aged 30–74 years were obtained for 14 countries, and were analysed by calculating age-standardized mortality rates and relative risks comparing a lower with a higher educational group. Survey data on health care use and behavioural risk factors for people aged 30–74 years were obtained for 12 countries, and were analysed by calculating age-and sex-adjusted odds ratios comparing a low with a higher educational group. Patterns of association were explored by calculating correlation coefficients. Results In most countries and for most amenable causes of death substantial inequalities in mortality were observed, but inequalities in mortality from amenable causes did not vary between countries in patterns that are different from those seen for inequalities in non-amenable mortality. As compared to non-amenable causes, inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are not more strongly associated with inequalities in health care use. Inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are also not less strongly associated with common risk factors such as smoking. Conclusions We did not find
According to the theory of the developmental origins of adult health and disease, development in utero and in the first years of life are critical phases during which susceptibility to many chronic diseases is set. Diseases eventually occur only if the environment and lifestyle in later life is favorable. Exposure to chemicals (environmental or drug), to infectious agents, unbalanced nutrition, or psychosocial stress prenatally or in the first months/years of life are all factors which have been shown to impact long-term health of individuals. The consequences, however, are not limited to health. A demonstrative example was provided by the study of the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 in the United States. Nationwide, it was estimated that the loss of income over a lifetime for individuals exposed during fetal life to this epidemic amounted to 14 billion dollars. This example demonstrates that an exposure during fetal life, which is not socially differentiated, may affect the social situation of individuals in adulthood. In many situations, it is much more difficult to separate the specific effect of a given exposure from the overall effect of the social environment. Indeed, it has been shown that socioeconomic status in childhood is associated with increased risk of mortality in adulthood, even after accounting for the socioeconomic status and risky behaviors in adulthood. Among the explanations, the theory of developmental origins of health credits of biological plausibility the model of critical periods early in which the individual is particularly vulnerable to certain exposures. Thus, ensuring the best conditions for the biological, physical, emotional and cognitive development of children in early life will enable them to reach their potential in terms of health and socioeconomic return to society. Investment in this period also brings the hope of reducing the perpetuation of social inequalities and health from generation to generation.
Sheiham, A; Alexander, D; Cohen, L
their environment. There is a dearth of oral health research on social determinants that cause health-compromising behaviors and on risk factors common to some chronic diseases. The gap between what is known and implemented by other health disciplines and the dental fraternity needs addressing. To re-orient oral...... health research, practice, and policy toward a 'social determinants' model, a closer collaboration between and integration of dental and general health research is needed. Here, we suggest a research agenda that should lead to reductions in global inequalities in oral health....
Full Text Available BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Children and women comprise vulnerable populations in terms of health and are gravely affected by the impact of economic inequalities through multi-dimensional channels. Urban areas are believed to have better socioeconomic and maternal and child health indicators than rural areas. This perception leads to the implementation of health policies ignorant of intra-urban health inequalities. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explain the pathways of economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators among the urban population of India. METHODS: Using data from the third wave of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2005-06, this study calculated relative contribution of socioeconomic factors to inequalities in key maternal and child health indicators such as antenatal check-ups (ANCs, institutional deliveries, proportion of children with complete immunization, proportion of underweight children, and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR. Along with regular CI estimates, this study applied widely used regression-based Inequality Decomposition model proposed by Wagstaff and colleagues. RESULTS: The CI estimates show considerable economic inequalities in women with less than 3 ANCs (CI = -0.3501, institutional delivery (CI = -0.3214, children without fully immunization (CI = -0.18340, underweight children (CI = -0.19420, and infant deaths (CI = -0.15596. Results of the decomposition model reveal that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure are the critical factors contributing to economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators. The residuals in all the decomposition models are very less; this implies that the above mentioned factors explained maximum inequalities in maternal and child health of urban population in India. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure are the critical
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Continued action is needed to tackle health inequalities in Canada, as those of lower income continue to be at higher risk for a range of negative health outcomes. There is arguably a lack of political will to implement policy change in this respect. As a result, we investigated public awareness of income-related health inequalities in a generally representative sample of Ontarians in late 2010. Methods Data were collected from 2,006 Ontario adults using a telephone survey. The survey asked participants to agree or disagree with various statements asserting that there are or are not health inequalities in general and by income in Ontario, including questions pertaining to nine specific conditions for which inequalities have been described in Ontario. A multi-stage process using binary logistic regression determined whether awareness of health inequalities differed between participant subgroups. Results Almost 73% of this sample of Ontarians agreed with the general premise that not all people are equally healthy in Ontario, but fewer participants were aware of health inequalities between the rich and the poor (53%–64%, depending on the framing of the question. Awareness of income-related inequalities in specific outcomes was considerably lower, ranging from 18% for accidents to 35% for obesity. Conclusions This is the first province-wide study in Canada, and the first in Ontario, to explore public awareness on health inequalities. Given that political will is shaped by public awareness and opinion, these results suggest that greater awareness may be required to move the health equity agenda forward in Ontario. There is a need for health equity advocates, physicians and researchers to increase the effectiveness of knowledge translation activities for studies that identify and explore health inequalities.
Goli, Srinivas; Doshi, Riddhi; Perianayagam, Arokiasamy
Children and women comprise vulnerable populations in terms of health and are gravely affected by the impact of economic inequalities through multi-dimensional channels. Urban areas are believed to have better socioeconomic and maternal and child health indicators than rural areas. This perception leads to the implementation of health policies ignorant of intra-urban health inequalities. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explain the pathways of economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators among the urban population of India. Using data from the third wave of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2005-06), this study calculated relative contribution of socioeconomic factors to inequalities in key maternal and child health indicators such as antenatal check-ups (ANCs), institutional deliveries, proportion of children with complete immunization, proportion of underweight children, and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Along with regular CI estimates, this study applied widely used regression-based Inequality Decomposition model proposed by Wagstaff and colleagues. The CI estimates show considerable economic inequalities in women with less than 3 ANCs (CI = -0.3501), institutional delivery (CI = -0.3214), children without fully immunization (CI = -0.18340), underweight children (CI = -0.19420), and infant deaths (CI = -0.15596). Results of the decomposition model reveal that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure are the critical factors contributing to economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators. The residuals in all the decomposition models are very less; this implies that the above mentioned factors explained maximum inequalities in maternal and child health of urban population in India. Findings suggest that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure are the critical pathways through which economic factors operate on inequalities in
Idrovo, Alvaro J; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Myriam; Manzano-Patiño, Abigail P
To analyze whether the relationship between income inequality and human health is mediated through social capital, and whether political regime determines differences in income inequality and social capital among countries. Path analysis of cross sectional ecological data from 110 countries. Life expectancy at birth was the outcome variable, and income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient), social capital (measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index or generalized trust), and political regime (measured by the Index of Freedom) were the predictor variables. Corruption Perceptions Index (an indirect indicator of social capital) was used to include more developing countries in the analysis. The correlation between Gini coefficient and predictor variables was calculated using Spearman's coefficients. The path analysis was designed to assess the effect of income inequality, social capital proxies and political regime on life expectancy. The path coefficients suggest that income inequality has a greater direct effect on life expectancy at birth than through social capital. Political regime acts on life expectancy at birth through income inequality. Income inequality and social capital have direct effects on life expectancy at birth. The "class/welfare regime model" can be useful for understanding social and health inequalities between countries, whereas the "income inequality hypothesis" which is only a partial approach is especially useful for analyzing differences within countries.
T.A. Eikemo (Terje); M. Huisman (Martijn); F. Perlman (Francesca); K. Ringdal (Kristen)
textabstractBackground: An important gap in our knowledge of social inequalities in health is the former Yugoslavia, a region of culturally and historically diverse countries, with recent conflict. The aim of the present paper is to investigate relative and absolute inequalities in self-assessed hea
Bommier, Antoine; Stecklov, Guy
While there has been an important increase in methodological and empirical studies on health inequality, not much has been written on the theoretical foundation of health inequality measurement. We discuss several reasons why the classic welfare approach, which is the foundation of income inequality analysis, fails to provide a satisfactory foundation for health inequality analysis. We propose an alternative approach which is more closely linked to the WHO concept of equity in health and is also consistent with the ethical principles espoused by Rawls [A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1971]. This approach in its simplest form, is shown to be closely related to the concentration curve when health and income are positively related. Thus, the criteria presented in our paper provide an important theoretical foundation for empirical analysis using the concentration curve. We explore the properties of these approaches by developing policy scenarios and examining how various ethical criteria affect government strategies for targeting health interventions.
Schou, L; Wight, C
The aim of the study was to evaluate the Lothian 1991 dental health campaigns on 5-year-old schoolchildren's oral hygiene and gingival health in relation to deprivation. A stratified random sample of 486 children was selected from 92 primary schools in the city of Edinburgh. Clinical examinations......-home materials were distributed to all children. Dental officers provided 20 minute information sessions for each class and encouraged teachers to continue dental health activities within the classes. For the purpose of the evaluation, schools were categorised as deprived and non-deprived according...
In a recent paper in this journal Abasolo and Tsuchiya [Abasolo, I., Tsuchiya, A., 2004. Exploring social welfare functions and violation of monotonicity: an example from inequalities in health. Journal of Health Economics 23, 313-329] have strongly argued for the use of a non-monotonic health related social welfare function. This note discusses both the limitations of the measure proposed by Abasolo and Tsuchiya [Abasolo, I., Tsuchiya, A., 2004. Exploring social welfare functions and violation of monotonicity: an example from inequalities in health. Journal of Health Economics 23, 313-329] and the problems associated with their empirics. We are able to show how non-monotonicity may lead to paradoxical results and policies. Further we examine the empirics of Abasolo and Tsuchiya [Abasolo, I., Tsuchiya, A., 2004. Exploring social welfare functions and violation of monotonicity: an example from inequalities in health. Journal of Health Economics 23, 313-329] and provide an alternative explanation to the observed patterns in the data that do not violate monotonicity. Finally we briefly mention why the Atkinson-Sen framework may be more appropriate as a way forward.
Lima, Maria Luisa; Morais, Rita
Health inequalities are very well documented in epidemiological research: rich people live longer and have fewer diseases than poor people. Recently, a growing amount of evidence from environmental sciences confirms that poor people are also more exposed to pollution and other environmental threats. However, research in the social sciences has shown a broad lack of awareness about health inequalities. In this paper, based on data collected in Portugal, we will analyze the consciousness of both health and environmental injustices and test one hypothesis for this social blindness. The results show, even more clearly than before, that public opinion tends to see rich and poor people as being equally susceptible to health and environmental events. Furthermore, those who have this equal view of the world present lower levels of depression and anxiety. Following cognitive adaptation theory, this "belief in an equal world" can be interpreted as a protective positive illusion about social justice, particularly relevant in one of the most unequal countries in Europe.
Moor, Irene; Lampert, Thomas; Rathmann, Katharina; Kuntz, Benjamin; Kolip, Petra; Spallek, Jacob; Richter, Matthias
There is little evidence on the explanation of health inequalities based on a gender sensitive perspective. The aim was to investigate to what extent health behaviours mediate the association between educational inequalities and life satisfaction of boys and girls. Data were derived from the German part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2010 (n = 5,005). Logistic regression models were conducted to investigate educational inequalities in life satisfaction among 11- to 15-year-old students and the relative impact of health behaviour in explaining these inequalities. Educational inequalities in life satisfaction were more pronounced in boys than in girls from lower educational tracks (OR 2.82, 95 % CI 1.97-4.05 and OR 2.30, 95 % CI 1.68-3.14). For adolescents belonging to the lowest educational track, behavioural factors contributed to 18 % (boys) and 39 % (girls) in the explanation of educational inequalities in life satisfaction. The relationship between educational track and life satisfaction is substantially mediated by health-related behaviours. To tackle inequalities in adolescent health, behavioural factors should be targeted at adolescents from lower educational tracks, with special focus on gender differences.
Mejía-Lancheros, Cília; Estruch, Ramón; Martínez-González, Miguel A; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Corella, Dolores; Gómez-Gracia, Enrique; Fiol, Miquel; Lapetra, José; Covas, Maria I; Arós, Fernando; Serra-Majem, Lluís; Pintó, Xavier; Basora, Josep; Sorlí, José V; Muñoz, Miguel A
Although it is known that social factors may introduce inequalities in cardiovascular health, data on the role of socioeconomic differences in the prescription of preventive treatment are scarce. We aimed to assess the relationship between the socioeconomic status of an elderly population at high cardiovascular risk and inequalities in receiving primary cardiovascular treatment, within the context of a universal health care system. Cross-sectional study of 7447 individuals with high cardiovascular risk (57.5% women, mean age 67 years) who participated in the PREDIMED study, a clinical trial of nutritional interventions for cardiovascular prevention. Educational attainment was used as the indicator of socioeconomic status to evaluate differences in pharmacological treatment received for hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Participants with the lowest socioeconomic status were more frequently women, older, overweight, sedentary, and less adherent to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. They were, however, less likely to smoke and drink alcohol. This socioeconomic subgroup had a higher proportion of coexisting cardiovascular risk factors. Multivariate analysis of the whole population found no differences between participants with middle and low levels of education in the drug treatment prescribed for 3 major cardiovascular risk factors (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]): hypertension (0.75 [0.56-1.00] vs 0.85 [0.65-1.10]); diabetic participants (0.86 [0.61-1.22] vs 0.90 [0.67-1.22]); and dyslipidemia (0.93 [0.75-1.15] vs 0.99 [0.82-1.19], respectively). In our analysis, socioeconomic differences did not affect the treatment prescribed for primary cardiovascular prevention in elderly patients in Spain. Free, universal health care based on a primary care model can be effective in reducing health inequalities related to socioeconomic status. Copyright © 2013 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Hurrelmann, K; Richter, M; Rathmann, K
In all highly developed countries, the overall health status of the population has significantly improved within the past 30 years. The most important reason for this is the increase in economic prosperity. Economic wealth, however, today is much more unequally distributed than it was 3 decades ago. Countries with relatively small disparities in the availability of material resources between socioeconomic groups, such as the Scandinavian countries, have better health outcomes on the population level. Health inequalities, however, have also reached a higher level than 30 years ago. As of today, we do not have convincing explanations for the interrelation of economic and health inequality. This paper gives an overview of existing research on a comparative basis. The research results are ambivalent. They show the puzzling result that the Scandinavian countries with their highly distributive welfare policy manage to achieve the comparatively highest level of economic, but not health, equity. Based on these results, we develop proposals for future research approaches. A central assumption is that in rich societies no longer only material, but more and more immaterial determinants are crucial for the formation of health inequality. The promotion of "salutogenic" self-management capabilities in socially disadvantaged groups is considered to be the central element in effective intervention strategies. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Arokiasamy, P; Pradhan, J
The concentration index is the most commonly used measure of socio-economic-related health inequality. However, a critical constraint has been that it is just a measure of inequality. Equity is an important goal of health policy but the average level of health also matters. In this paper, we explore evidence of both these crucial dimensions-equity (inequality) and efficiency (average health)-in child health indicators by adopting the recently developed measure of the extended concentration index on the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) data from India. An increasing degree of inequality aversion is used to measure health inequalities as well as achievement in the following child health indicators: under-2 child mortality, full immunization coverage, and prevalence of underweight, wasting and stunting among children. State-wise adjusted under-2 child mortality scores reveal an increasing trend with increasing values of inequality aversion, implying that under-2 child deaths have been significantly concentrated among the poor households. The level of adjusted under-2 child mortality scores increases significantly with the increasing value of aversion even in states advanced in the health transition, such as Kerala and Goa. The higher values of adjusted scores for lower values of aversion for child immunization coverage are evidence that richer households benefited most from the rise in full immunization coverage. However, the lack of radical changes in the adjusted scores for underweight among children with increasing degrees of aversion implies that household economic status was not the only determinant of poor nutritional status in India.
Målqvist, Mats; Hoa, Dinh Thi Phuong; Thomsen, Sarah
Inequities in health are a major challenge for health care planners and policymakers globally. In Vietnam, rapid societal development presents a considerable risk for disadvantaged populations to be left behind. The aim of this review is to map the known causes and determinants of inequity in maternal and child health in Vietnam in order to promote policy action. A review was performed through systematic searches of Pubmed and Proquest and manual searches of "grey literature." A thematic content analysis guided by the conceptual framework suggested by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health was performed. More than thirty different causes and determinants of inequity in maternal and child health were identified. Some determinants worth highlighting were the influence of informal fees and the many testimonies of discrimination and negative attitudes from health staff towards women in general and ethnic minorities in particular. Research gaps were identified, such as a lack of studies investigating the influence of education on health care utilization, informal costs of care, and how psychosocial factors mediate inequity. The evidence of corruption and discrimination as mediators of health inequity in Vietnam calls for attention and indicates a need for more structural interventions such as better governance and anti-discriminatory laws. More research is needed in order to fully understand the pathways of inequities in health in Vietnam and suggest areas for intervention for policy action to reach disadvantaged populations.
Background Inequities in health are a major challenge for health care planners and policymakers globally. In Vietnam, rapid societal development presents a considerable risk for disadvantaged populations to be left behind. The aim of this review is to map the known causes and determinants of inequity in maternal and child health in Vietnam in order to promote policy action. Methods A review was performed through systematic searches of Pubmed and Proquest and manual searches of “grey literature.” A thematic content analysis guided by the conceptual framework suggested by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health was performed. Results More than thirty different causes and determinants of inequity in maternal and child health were identified. Some determinants worth highlighting were the influence of informal fees and the many testimonies of discrimination and negative attitudes from health staff towards women in general and ethnic minorities in particular. Research gaps were identified, such as a lack of studies investigating the influence of education on health care utilization, informal costs of care, and how psychosocial factors mediate inequity. Conclusions The evidence of corruption and discrimination as mediators of health inequity in Vietnam calls for attention and indicates a need for more structural interventions such as better governance and anti-discriminatory laws. More research is needed in order to fully understand the pathways of inequities in health in Vietnam and suggest areas for intervention for policy action to reach disadvantaged populations. PMID:22883138
Carmichael, Sarah; Dilli, Selin; Rijpma, Auke
Historically, gender inequalities in health status, socio-economic standing and political rights have been large. This chapter documents gender differences in life expectancy and birth rates (to cover health status); in average years of schooling, labour force participation, inheritance rights and marriage age (to cover socioeconomic status); and in parliamentary seats and suffrage (to cover political rights). A composite indicator shows strong progress in reducing gender inequality in the pa...
Schulz, Amy J; Israel, Barbara A; Coombe, Chris M; Gaines, Causandra; Reyes, Angela G; Rowe, Zachary; Sand, Sharon L; Strong, Larkin L; Weir, Sheryl
The elimination of persistent health inequities requires the engagement of multiple perspectives, resources, and skills. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is one approach to developing action strategies that promote health equity by addressing contextual as well as individual-level factors, and that can contribute to addressing more fundamental factors linked to health inequity. Yet many questions remain about how to implement participatory processes that engage local insights and expertise, are informed by the existing public health knowledge base, and build support across multiple sectors to implement solutions. This article describes a CBPR approach used to conduct a community assessment and action planning process, culminating in development of a multilevel intervention to address inequalities in cardiovascular disease in Detroit, Michigan. The authors consider implications for future efforts to engage communities in developing strategies toward eliminating health inequities.
Social inequalities in mortality are generally less pronounced for women than for men. Are women's health risks and behaviours more homogeneous, or does this pattern arise from a measurement issue inducing an under-estimation of these inequalities? This article reviews a number of studies covering different dimensions of health and different dimensions of social status. Their findings show that there are large social inequalities in health among women. The focus on the working careers, family histories and conciliation of multiple activities provides evidence of major social determinants of health to which women are widely exposed. This article highlights the need to broaden the notion of social inequality and to redefine the social categories, notably by considering the distinct trajectories of men and women and their different spheres of activity. It highlights that gender differences in health are themselves partly socially constructed, as suggested by the gender approaches in the social sciences.
Schou, L; Wight, C
took place immediately before (T1), a month after (T2) and 4 months after the campaign (T3). A total of 342 (70 per cent) children received all 3 examinations. Oral hygiene and gingival health were examined using a modified Silness and Löe and the Ainamo and Bay Index. Toothbrushes and take...
Full Text Available Is Africa’s current growth reducing inequality? What are the implications of growth on output performances in Africa? Does the effect of Africa’s growth on sectorial output have any implication for inequality in Africa? The study investigates the effect of shocks on a set of macroeconomic variables on inequality (measured by life expectancy and the implication of this on sectors that are perceived to provide economic empowerment in form of employment for people living in the African countries in our sample. Studies already find that growth in many African countries has not been accompanied with significant improvement in employment. Therefore inequality is subject to a counter cyclical trend in production levels when export destination countries experience a recession. The study also provides insight on the effect of growth on sectorial output for three major sectors in the African economy with the intent of analyzing the impact of growth on sectorial development. The method used in this study is Panel Vector Autoregressive (PVAR estimation and the obvious advantage of this method lies in the fact that it allows us to capture both static and dynamic interdependencies and to treat the links across units in an unrestricted fashion. Data is obtained from World Bank (WDI Statistics for the period 1985 to 2012 (28 years for 10 African Countries. Our main findings confirm strong negative relationship between GDP growth and life expectancy and also for GDP and the services and manufacturing sector considering the full sample.
Barros, Marilisa Berti de Azevedo
ABSTRACT This study describes the frequency and types of articles on social inequalities in health published in 50 years of the Revista de Saúde Pública, taking as reference some milestones that were used as guidelines to develop the research on this theme. Checking titles, keywords and abstracts or full texts, we identified 288 articles whose central or secondary focus was social inequalities in health. Corresponding to just 1.8% in the initial years, articles on social inequalities in health have represent 10.1% of the articles published in the last decade. The designs used were mainly cross-sectional (58.0%) and ecological (18.1%). The most analyzed themes were: food/nutrition (20.8%), mortality (13.5%), infectious diseases (10.1%), oral health (9.0%), and health services (8.7%). Articles focused on the analysis of racial inequalities in health amounted to 6.9%. Few articles monitored the trends of social inequalities in health, essential enterprise to assess and support interventions, and an even smaller number evaluated the impact of policies and programs on the reduction of social inequalities in health.
Full Text Available Abstract Objectives To document and compare the magnitude of inequities in child malnutrition across urban and rural areas, and to investigate the extent to which within-urban disparities in child malnutrition are accounted for by the characteristics of communities, households and individuals. Methods The most recent data sets available from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS of 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA are used. The selection criteria were set to ensure that the number of countries, their geographical spread across Western/Central and Eastern/Southern Africa, and their socioeconomic diversities, constitute a good yardstick for the region and allow us to draw some generalizations. A household wealth index is constructed in each country and area (urban, rural, and the odds ratio between its uppermost and lowermost category, derived from multilevel logistic models, is used as a measure of socioeconomic inequalities. Control variables include mother's and father's education, community socioeconomic status (SES designed to represent the broad socio-economic ecology of the neighborhoods in which families live, and relevant mother- and child-level covariates. Results Across countries in SSA, though socioeconomic inequalities in stunting do exist in both urban and rural areas, they are significantly larger in urban areas. Intra-urban differences in child malnutrition are larger than overall urban-rural differentials in child malnutrition, and there seem to be no visible relationships between within-urban inequities in child health on the one hand, and urban population growth, urban malnutrition, or overall rural-urban differentials in malnutrition, on the other. Finally, maternal and father's education, community SES and other measurable covariates at the mother and child levels only explain a slight part of the within-urban differences in child malnutrition. Conclusion The urban advantage in health masks enormous disparities
Freire, Maria do Carmo Matias; Jordão, Lidia Moraes Ribeiro; Malta, Deborah Carvalho; Andrade, Silvânia Suely Caribé de Araújo; Peres, Marco Aurelio
OBJECTIVE To analyze oral health behaviors changes over time in Brazilian adolescents concerning maternal educational inequalities. METHODS Data from the Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar (Brazilian National School Health Survey) were analyzed. The sample was composed of 60,973 and 61,145 students from 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Federal District in 2009 and 2012, respectively. The analyzed factors were oral health behaviors (toothbrushing frequency, sweets consumption, soft drink consumption, and cigarette experimentation) and sociodemographics (age, sex, race, type of school and maternal schooling). Oral health behaviors and sociodemographic factors in the two years were compared (Rao-Scott test) and relative and absolute measures of socioeconomic inequalities in health were estimated (slope index of inequality and relative concentration index), using maternal education as a socioeconomic indicator, expressed in number of years of study (> 11; 9-11; ≤ 8). RESULTS Results from 2012, when compared with those from 2009, for all maternal education categories, showed that the proportion of people with low toothbrushing frequency increased, and that consumption of sweets and soft drinks and cigarette experimentation decreased. In private schools, positive slope index of inequality and relative concentration index indicated higher soft drink consumption in 2012 and higher cigarette experimentation in both years among students who reported greater maternal schooling, with no significant change in inequalities. In public schools, negative slope index of inequality and relative concentration index indicated higher soft drink consumption among students who reported lower maternal schooling in both years, with no significant change overtime. The positive relative concentration index indicated inequality in 2009 for cigarette experimentation, with a higher prevalence among students who reported greater maternal schooling. There were no inequalities for
Full Text Available Background: This article provided an analysis of gender inequality, health expenditure and its relationship to maternal mortality.Objective: The objective of this article was to explore gender inequality and its relationship with health expenditure and maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. A unique analysis was used to correlate the Gender Inequality Index (GII, Health Expenditure and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR. The GII captured inequalities across three dimensions – Reproductive health, Women empowerment and Labour force participation between men and women. The GII is a composite index introduced by the UNDP in 2010 and corrects for the disadavanatges of the other gender indices. Although the GII incorporates MMR in its calculation, it should not be taken as a substitute for, but rather as complementary to, the MMR.Method: An exploratory and descriptive design to a secondary documentary review using quantitative data and qualitative information was used. The article referred to sub-Saharan Africa, but seven countries were purposively selected for an in-depth analysis based on the availability of data. The countries selected were Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique,South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Results: Countries with high gender inequality captured by the gender inequality index were associated with high maternal mortality ratios as compared with countries with lower gender inequality, whilst countries that spend less on health were associated with higher maternal deaths than countries that spend more.Conclusion: A potential relationship exists between gender inequality, health expenditure, and maternal mortality. Gender inequalities are systematic and occur at the macro, societal and household levels.
Maria do Carmo Matias Freire
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE To analyze oral health behaviors changes over time in Brazilian adolescents concerning maternal educational inequalities.METHODS Data from the Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar(Brazilian National School Health Survey were analyzed. The sample was composed of 60,973 and 61,145 students from 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Federal District in 2009 and 2012, respectively. The analyzed factors were oral health behaviors (toothbrushing frequency, sweets consumption, soft drink consumption, and cigarette experimentation and sociodemographics (age, sex, race, type of school and maternal schooling. Oral health behaviors and sociodemographic factors in the two years were compared (Rao-Scott test and relative and absolute measures of socioeconomic inequalities in health were estimated (slope index of inequality and relative concentration index, using maternal education as a socioeconomic indicator, expressed in number of years of study (> 11; 9-11; ≤ 8.RESULTS Results from 2012, when compared with those from 2009, for all maternal education categories, showed that the proportion of people with low toothbrushing frequency increased, and that consumption of sweets and soft drinks and cigarette experimentation decreased. In private schools, positive slope index of inequality and relative concentration index indicated higher soft drink consumption in 2012 and higher cigarette experimentation in both years among students who reported greater maternal schooling, with no significant change in inequalities. In public schools, negative slope index of inequality and relative concentration index indicated higher soft drink consumption among students who reported lower maternal schooling in both years, with no significant change overtime. The positive relative concentration index indicated inequality in 2009 for cigarette experimentation, with a higher prevalence among students who reported greater maternal schooling. There were no inequalities
This paper's objective is to show how diabetes is the place of polarization of new uncertainties in Senegal and also to highlight how this "disease of modernity" is the source of pronounced health inequalities in urban and rural Senegalese areas.
Palmer Victoria J; Furler John S
Abstract Background Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities. Results Some see doctors as bound by a notion of care that is blind to a patient's social position, while others respond to...
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Studies have widely documented the socioeconomic inequalities in maternal and child health related outcomes in developing countries including India. However, there is limited research on the inequalities in advice provided by public health workers on maternal and child health during antenatal visits. This paper investigates the inequalities in advice provided by public health workers to women during antenatal visits in rural India. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The District Level Household Survey (2007-08 was used to compute rich-poor ratios and concentration indices. Binary logistic regressions were used to investigate inequalities in advice provided by public health workers. The dependent variables comprised the advice provided on seven essential components of maternal and child health care. A significant proportion of pregnant women who attended at least four ANC sessions were not advised on these components during their antenatal sessions. Only 51%-72% of the pregnant women were advised on at least one of the components. Moreover, socioeconomic inequalities in providing advice were significant and the provision of advice concentrated disproportionately among the rich. Inequalities were highest in the case of advice on family planning methods. Advice on breastfeeding was least unequal. Public health workers working in lower level health facilities were significantly less likely than their counterparts in the higher level health facilities to provide specific advice. CONCLUSION: A significant proportion of women were not advised on recommended components of maternal and child health in rural India. Moreover, there were enormous socioeconomic inequalities. The findings of this study raise questions about the capacity of the public health care system in providing equitable services in India. The Government of India must focus on training and capacity building of the public health workers in communication skills so that they can deliver
Platts, Loretta G; Gerry, Christopher J
Despite Ukraine's large population, few studies have examined social inequalities in health. This study describes Ukrainian educational inequalities in self-rated health and assesses how far psychosocial, material and behavioural factors account for the education gradient in health. Data were analyzed from the 2007 wave of the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Education was categorized as: lower secondary or less, upper secondary and tertiary. In logistic regressions of 5451 complete cases, stratified by gender, declaring less than average health was regressed on education, before and after adjusting for psychosocial, material and behavioural factors. In analyses adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics, compared with those educated up to lower secondary level, tertiary education was associated with lower risk of less than average health for both men and women. Including material factors (income quintiles, housing assets, labour market status) reduced the association between education and health by 55-64% in men and 35-47% in women. Inclusion of health behaviours (physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index) reduced the associations by 27-30% in men and 19-27% in women; in most cases including psychosocial factors (marital status, living alone, trust in family and friends) did not reduce the size of the associations. Including all potential explanatory factors reduced the associations by 68-84% in men and 43-60% in women. The education gradient in self-rated health in Ukraine was partly accounted for by material and behavioural factors. In addition to health behaviours, policymakers should consider upstream determinants of health inequalities, such as joblessness and poverty.
The results of this study showed that, compared to women, men have higher levels of health scores (75/7 vs. 71/5, and people with high education have health scores higher than those with law education. This research proved the effectiveness of health awareness, education, healthy lifestyle and social protection of citizens on increase of health level. Also, an indirect and powerful correlation was observed among age and health related quality of life. This result shows that aging is a very important variable in health status of people. Aged people have mental health problems in particular. On the other hand, there were very significant differences between men and women in mental health scores. Women have a very bad condition in this regard. The results of this study showed the importance of social factors in health inequalities among citizens. As a result, attention should be paid to social factors and attempts should be made to diminish social and economic inequalities and discriminations in society.
Ruhago George M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Inequity in access to and use of child and maternal health interventions is impeding progress towards the maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals. This study explores the potential health gains and equity impact if a set of priority interventions for mothers and under fives were scaled up to reach national universal coverage targets for MDGs in Tanzania. Methods We used the Lives Saved Tool (LiST to estimate potential reductions in maternal and child mortality and the number of lives saved across wealth quintiles and between rural and urban settings. High impact maternal and child health interventions were modelled for a five-year scale up, by linking intervention coverage, effectiveness and cause of mortality using data from Tanzania. Concentration curves were drawn and the concentration index estimated to measure the equity impact of the scale up. Results In the poorest population quintiles in Tanzania, the lives of more than twice as many mothers and under-fives were likely to be saved, compared to the richest quintile. Scaling up coverage to equal levels across quintiles would reduce inequality in maternal and child mortality from a pro rich concentration index of −0.11 (maternal and −0.12 (children to a more equitable concentration index of −0,03 and −0.03 respectively. In rural areas, there would likely be an eight times greater reduction in maternal deaths than in urban areas and a five times greater reduction in child deaths than in urban areas. Conclusions Scaling up priority maternal and child health interventions to equal levels would potentially save far more lives in the poorest populations, and would accelerate equitable progress towards maternal and child health MDGs.
Susan P Phillips
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Limited existing research on gender inequities suggests that for men workplace atmosphere shapes wellbeing while women are less susceptible to socioeconomic or work status but vulnerable to home inequities. METHODS: Using the 2007 Northern Swedish Cohort (n = 773 we identified relative contributions of perceived gender inequities in relationships, financial strain, and education to self-reported health to determine whether controlling for sex, examining interactions between sex and other social variables, or sex-disaggregating data yielded most information about sex differences. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Men had lower education but also less financial strain, and experienced less gender inequity. Overall, low education and financial strain detracted from health. However, sex-disaggregated data showed this to be true for women, whereas for men only gender inequity at home affected health. In the relatively egalitarian Swedish environment where women more readily enter all work arenas and men often provide parenting, traditional primacy of the home environment (for women and the work environment (for men in shaping health is reversing such that perceived domestic gender inequity has a significant health impact on men, while for women only education and financial strain are contributory. These outcomes were identified only when data were sex-disaggregated.
Fish, Julie; Bewley, Susan
This article makes a contribution to current debates in human rights-based approaches to lesbian and bisexual (LB) women's health. With reference to concepts embodied in the Yogyakarta Principles, it is proposed that the right to health includes access to health information, participation, equity, equality and non-discrimination. Specifically, the article examines how LB women's health can be considered as a health inequality and discusses international developments to reduce disparities. Drawing on qualitative data collected in an online survey, the article reports on sexual minority women's experiences of health-care. Participants were recruited via a purposive sampling strategy; questionnaires were completed by 6490 respondents of whom 5909 met the study criteria of residence in the UK, sexual orientation and completing the survey once. Analysis revealed four broad themes: heteronormativity in health-care; improving attitudes among healthcare professionals; equality in access; raising awareness and informed communities. The accounts highlight the centrality of human rights principles: fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy. The implications for healthcare policy and practice are discussed including ways to empower staff and service users with knowledge and skills and ensuring non-discrimination in health service delivery.
Full Text Available Background: The effect of socioeconomic inequity on major public health indices such as maternal and child mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries are less understood and needs to be evaluated through the concentration index.Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2012 in Hamadan City, the west of Iran, and 1400 households were enrolled through a stratified cluster random sampling method. The effect of inequity on health outcomes was investigated via a three-stage procedure including: (a definition of health outcomes; (b measuring socioeconomic status using an asset index; and (c measuring inequality of health outcome using concentration index (CI.Results: There was inequality for all outcomes of interest. The CI was negative for low birth weight, underweight, stunting, wasting, minor injuries, moderate injuries, consanguineous marriage, child with disability, short birth spacing, and adolescent pregnancy indicating the disproportionate concentration of the health outcomes among the poor. On the other hand, CI was positive for preterm birth, Nonexclusive breastfeeding, severe injuries, incomplete health care, cesarean section, and advanced maternal age indicating opposite conclusion.Conclusion: According to our results, there is a health inequality between the poor and the rich subgroups which may increase the risk of mothers and infant mortality and morbidity rates among the poor while the majority of the conditions related to the health outcomes are preventable.
Latulippe, Karine; Hamel, Christine; Giroux, Dominique
eHealth is developing rapidly and brings with it a promise to reduce social health inequalities (SHIs). Yet, it appears that it also has the potential to increase them. The general objective of this review was to set out how to ensure that eHealth contributes to reducing SHIs rather than exacerbating them. This review has three objectives: (1) identifying characteristics of people at risk of experiencing social inequality in health; (2) determining the possibilities of developing eHealth tools that avoid increasing SHI; and (3) modeling the process of using an eHealth tool by people vulnerable to SHI. Following the EPPI approach (Evidence for Policy and Practice of Information of the Institute of Education at the University of London), two databases were searched for the terms SHIs and eHealth and their derivatives in titles and abstracts. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed articles were included and evaluated. The software NVivo (QSR International) was employed to extract the data and allow for a metasynthesis of the data. Of the 73 articles retained, 10 were theoretical, 7 were from reviews, and 56 were based on empirical studies. Of the latter, 40 used a quantitative approach, 8 used a qualitative approach, 4 used mixed methods approach, and only 4 were based on participatory research-action approach. The digital divide in eHealth is a serious barrier and contributes greatly to SHI. Ethnicity and low income are the most commonly used characteristics to identify people at risk of SHI. The most promising actions for reducing SHI via eHealth are to aim for universal access to the tool of eHealth, become aware of users' literacy level, create eHealth tools that respect the cultural attributes of future users, and encourage the participation of people at risk of SHI. eHealth has the potential to widen the gulf between those at risk of SHI and the rest of the population. The widespread expansion of eHealth technologies calls for rigorous consideration of
Jackson, Andrew L
Abstract Background Geographical health inequalities are naturally described by the variation in health outcomes between areas (e.g. mortality rates). However, comparisons made between countries are hampered by our lack of understanding of the effect of the size of administrative units, and in particular the modifiable areal unit problem. Our objective was to assess how differences in geographic and administrative units used for disseminating data affect the description of health inequalities. Methods Retrospective study of standard populations and deaths aggregated by administrative regions within 20 European countries, 1990-1991. Estimated populations and deaths in males aged 0-64 were in 5 year age bands. Poisson multilevel modelling was conducted of deaths as standardised mortality ratios. The variation between regions within countries was tested for relationships with the mean region population size and the unequal distribution of populations within each country measured using Gini coefficients. Results There is evidence that countries whose regions vary more in population size show greater variation and hence greater apparent inequalities in mortality counts. The Gini coefficient, measuring inequalities in population size, ranged from 0.1 to 0.5 between countries; an increase of 0.1 was accompanied by a 12-14% increase in the standard deviation of the mortality rates between regions within a country. Conclusions Apparently differing health inequalities between two countries may be due to differences in geographical structure per se, rather than having any underlying epidemiological cause. Inequalities may be inherently greater in countries whose regions are more unequally populated.
Hangoma, Peter; Aakvik, Arild; Robberstad, Bjarne
Background Child health interventions were drastically scaled up in the period leading up to 2015 as countries aimed at meeting the 2015 target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDGs were defined in terms of achieving improvements in average health. Significant improvements in average child health are documented, but evidence also points to rising inequality. It is important to investigate factors that drive the increasing disparities in order to inform the post-2015 development agenda of reducing inequality, as captured in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We investigated changes in socioeconomic inequality in stunting and fever in Zambia in 2007 and 2014. Unlike the huge literature that seeks to quantify the contribution of different determinants on the observed inequality at any given time, we quantify determinants of changes in inequality. Methods Data from the 2007 and 2014 waves of the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) were utilized. Our sample consisted of children aged 0–5 years (n = 5,616 in 2007 and n = 12,714 in 2014). We employed multilevel models to assess the determinants of stunting and fever, which are two important child health indicators. The concentration index (CI) was used to measure the magnitude of inequality. Changes in inequality of stunting and fever were investigated using Oaxaca-type decomposition of the CI. In this approach, the change in the CI for stunting/fever is decomposed into changes in CI for each determinant and changes in the effect—measured as an elasticity—of each determinant on stunting/fever. Results While average rates of stunting reduced in 2014 socioeconomic inequality in stunting increased significantly. Inequality in fever incidence also increased significantly, but average rates of fever did not reduce. The increase in the inequality (CI) of determinants accounted for the largest part (42.5%) of the increase in inequality of stunting, while the increase in the effect of determinants
Worku, Eshetu B; Woldesenbet, Selamawit A
Many African economies have achieved substantial economic growth over the past recent years, yet several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including those concerned with health, remain considerably behind target. This paper examines whether progress towards these goals is being hampered by existing levels of poverty and income inequality. It also considers whether the inequality hypothesis of Wilkinson and Pickett1 applies to population health outcomes in African states. Correlation analysis and scatter plots were used to assess graphically the link between variations in health outcomes, level of poverty and income inequality in different countries. Health status outcomes were measured by using four indicators: infant and under-five (child) mortality rates; maternal mortality ratios; and life expectancy at birth. In each of the 52 African nations, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line is used as an indicator of the level of poverty and Gini coefficient as a measure of income inequality. The study used a comprehensive review of secondary and relevant literature that are pertinent in the subject area. The data datasets obtained online from UNICEF2 and UNDP3 (2009) used to test the research questions. World Health Organization the three broad dimensions to consider when moving towards better population health outcome through Universal Health Coverage and the Social Determinants of Health framework reviewed to establish the poverty and income inequality link in African countries population health outcomes. The study shows that poverty is strongly associated with all health outcome differences in Africa (IMR, cc = 0.63; U5MR, cc = 0.64; MMR, cc = 0.49; life expectancy at birth, cc = -0.67); income inequality with only one of the four indicators (IMR, cc = 0.14; U5MR, cc = 0.07; MMR, cc = 0.22; life expectancy at birth, cc = -0.49), whereas income inequality is associated with one of the four indicators. The study shows that tackling
Bourdier, Thomas; Cordonnier, Thomas; Kunstler, Georges; Piedallu, Christian; Lagarrigues, Guillaume; Courbaud, Benoit
Plant structural diversity is usually considered as beneficial for ecosystem functioning. For instance, numerous studies have reported positive species diversity-productivity relationships in plant communities. However, other aspects of structural diversity such as individual size inequality have been far less investigated. In forests, tree size inequality impacts directly tree growth and asymmetric competition, but consequences on forest productivity are still indeterminate. In addition, the effect of tree size inequality on productivity is likely to vary with species shade-tolerance, a key ecological characteristic controlling asymmetric competition and light resource acquisition. Using plot data from the French National Geographic Agency, we studied the response of stand productivity to size inequality for ten forest species differing in shade tolerance. We fitted a basal area stand production model that included abiotic factors, stand density, stand development stage and a tree size inequality index. Then, using a forest dynamics model we explored whether mechanisms of light interception and light use efficiency could explain the tree size inequality effect observed for three of the ten species studied. Size inequality negatively affected basal area increment for seven out of the ten species investigated. However, this effect was not related to the shade tolerance of these species. According to the model simulations, the negative tree size inequality effect could result both from reduced total stand light interception and reduced light use efficiency. Our results demonstrate that negative relationships between size inequality and productivity may be the rule in tree populations. The lack of effect of shade tolerance indicates compensatory mechanisms between effect on light availability and response to light availability. Such a pattern deserves further investigations for mixed forests where complementarity effects between species are involved. When studying the
Full Text Available Plant structural diversity is usually considered as beneficial for ecosystem functioning. For instance, numerous studies have reported positive species diversity-productivity relationships in plant communities. However, other aspects of structural diversity such as individual size inequality have been far less investigated. In forests, tree size inequality impacts directly tree growth and asymmetric competition, but consequences on forest productivity are still indeterminate. In addition, the effect of tree size inequality on productivity is likely to vary with species shade-tolerance, a key ecological characteristic controlling asymmetric competition and light resource acquisition. Using plot data from the French National Geographic Agency, we studied the response of stand productivity to size inequality for ten forest species differing in shade tolerance. We fitted a basal area stand production model that included abiotic factors, stand density, stand development stage and a tree size inequality index. Then, using a forest dynamics model we explored whether mechanisms of light interception and light use efficiency could explain the tree size inequality effect observed for three of the ten species studied. Size inequality negatively affected basal area increment for seven out of the ten species investigated. However, this effect was not related to the shade tolerance of these species. According to the model simulations, the negative tree size inequality effect could result both from reduced total stand light interception and reduced light use efficiency. Our results demonstrate that negative relationships between size inequality and productivity may be the rule in tree populations. The lack of effect of shade tolerance indicates compensatory mechanisms between effect on light availability and response to light availability. Such a pattern deserves further investigations for mixed forests where complementarity effects between species are
Kunst, Anton E; Bos, Vivian; Lahelma, Eero
BACKGROUND: Changes over time in inequalities in self-reported health are studied for increasingly more countries, but a comprehensive overview encompassing several countries is still lacking. The general aim of this article is to determine whether inequalities in self-assessed health in 10...... in self-assessed health showed a high degree of stability in European countries. For all countries together, the ORs comparing low with high educational levels remained stable for men (2.61 in the 1980s and 2.54 in the 1990s) but increased slightly for women (from 2.48 to 2.70). The ORs comparing extreme...... underscore the persistent nature of socioeconomic inequalities in health in modern societies. The relatively favourable trends in the Nordic countries suggest that these countries' welfare states were able to buffer many of the adverse effects of economic crises on the health of disadvantaged groups....
Full Text Available CONTEXT: Substantive equity-focused policy changes in Ontario, Canada have yet to be realized and may be limited by a lack of widespread public support. An understanding of how the public attributes inequalities can be informative for developing widespread support. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to examine how Ontarians attribute income-related health inequalities. METHODS: We conducted a telephone survey of 2,006 Ontarians using random digit dialing. The survey included thirteen questions relevant to the theme of attributions of income-related health inequalities, with each statement linked to a known social determinant of health. The statements were further categorized depending on whether the statement was framed around blaming the poor for health inequalities, the plight of the poor as a cause of health inequalities, or the privilege of the rich as a cause of health inequalities. RESULTS: There was high agreement for statements that attributed inequalities to differences between the rich and the poor in terms of employment, social status, income and food security, and conversely, the least agreement for statements that attributed inequalities to differences in terms of early childhood development, social exclusion, the social gradient and personal health practices and coping skills. Mean agreement was lower for the two statements that suggested blame for income-related health inequalities lies with the poor (43.1% than for the three statements that attributed inequalities to the plight of the poor (58.3% or the eight statements that attributed inequalities to the privilege of the rich (58.7%. DISCUSSION: A majority of this sample of Ontarians were willing to attribute inequalities to the social determinants of health, and were willing to accept messages that framed inequalities around the privilege of the rich or the plight of the poor. These findings will inform education campaigns, campaigns aimed at increasing public support
Lofters, Aisha; Slater, Morgan; Kirst, Maritt; Shankardass, Ketan; Quiñonez, Carlos
Substantive equity-focused policy changes in Ontario, Canada have yet to be realized and may be limited by a lack of widespread public support. An understanding of how the public attributes inequalities can be informative for developing widespread support. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to examine how Ontarians attribute income-related health inequalities. We conducted a telephone survey of 2,006 Ontarians using random digit dialing. The survey included thirteen questions relevant to the theme of attributions of income-related health inequalities, with each statement linked to a known social determinant of health. The statements were further categorized depending on whether the statement was framed around blaming the poor for health inequalities, the plight of the poor as a cause of health inequalities, or the privilege of the rich as a cause of health inequalities. There was high agreement for statements that attributed inequalities to differences between the rich and the poor in terms of employment, social status, income and food security, and conversely, the least agreement for statements that attributed inequalities to differences in terms of early childhood development, social exclusion, the social gradient and personal health practices and coping skills. Mean agreement was lower for the two statements that suggested blame for income-related health inequalities lies with the poor (43.1%) than for the three statements that attributed inequalities to the plight of the poor (58.3%) or the eight statements that attributed inequalities to the privilege of the rich (58.7%). A majority of this sample of Ontarians were willing to attribute inequalities to the social determinants of health, and were willing to accept messages that framed inequalities around the privilege of the rich or the plight of the poor. These findings will inform education campaigns, campaigns aimed at increasing public support for equity-focused public policy, and knowledge
Ferraz, Octavio Luiz Motta
This article analyzes the recent and growing phenomenon of right-to-health litigation in Brazil from the perspective of health equity. It argues that the prevailing model of litigation is likely worsening the country's already pronounced health inequities. The model is characterized by a prevalence of individualized claims demanding curative medical treatment (most often drugs) and by a high success rate for the litigant. Both elements are largely a consequence of the way Brazilian judges have interpreted the scope of the right to health recognized in Article 6 and Article 196 of the Brazilian constitution, that is, as an entitlement of individuals to the satiSfaction of all their health needs with the most advanced treatment available, irrespective of its costs. Given that resources are always scarce in relation to the health needs of the population as a whole, this interpretation can only be sustained at the expense of universality, that is, so long as only a part of the population is granted this unlimited right at any given time. The individuals and (less often) groups who manage to access the judiciary and realize this right are therefore privileged over the rest of the population. This is potentially detrimental to health equity because the criterion for privileging litigants over the rest of the population is not based on any conception of need or justice but purely on their ability to access the judiciary, something that only a minority of citizens possess. This paper examines studies that are beginning to confirm that a majority of right-to-health litigants come from social groups that are already considerably advantaged in terms of all socioeconomic indicators, including health conditions. It is a plausible assumption that the model of right-to-health litigation currently prevalent in Brazil is likely worsening health inequities.
In this study, state-level US data for the years 2000 and 1990 are used to provide additional evidence on the roles of income inequality and poverty in population health. Five main points are noted. First, contrary to the suggestion made in several recent studies, the income inequality parameter is observed to be quite robust and carries statistical significance in mortality equations estimated from several observation sets and a fairly wide variety of specificational choices. Second, the evidence does not indicate that significance of income inequality is lost when education variables are included. Third, similarly, the income inequality parameter shows significance when a race variable is added, and also when both race and urbanization terms are entered. Fourth, while poverty is seen to have some mortality-increasing consequence, the role of income inequality appears stronger. Fifth, income inequality retains statistical significance when a quadratic income term is added and also if the log-log version of a fairly inclusive model is estimated. I therefore suggest that the recent skepticism articulated by several scholars in regard to the robustness of the income inequality parameters in mortality equations estimated from the US data should be reconsidered.
Goli, Srinivas; Doshi, Riddhi; Perianayagam, Arokiasamy
Background/Objective Children and women comprise vulnerable populations in terms of health and are gravely affected by the impact of economic inequalities through multi-dimensional channels. Urban areas are believed to have better socioeconomic and maternal and child health indicators than rural areas. This perception leads to the implementation of health policies ignorant of intra-urban health inequalities. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explain the pathways of economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators among the urban population of India. Methods Using data from the third wave of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2005–06), this study calculated relative contribution of socioeconomic factors to inequalities in key maternal and child health indicators such as antenatal check-ups (ANCs), institutional deliveries, proportion of children with complete immunization, proportion of underweight children, and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Along with regular CI estimates, this study applied widely used regression-based Inequality Decomposition model proposed by Wagstaff and colleagues. Results The CI estimates show considerable economic inequalities in women with less than 3 ANCs (CI = −0.3501), institutional delivery (CI = −0.3214), children without fully immunization (CI = −0.18340), underweight children (CI = −0.19420), and infant deaths (CI = −0.15596). Results of the decomposition model reveal that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure are the critical factors contributing to economic inequalities in maternal and child health indicators. The residuals in all the decomposition models are very less; this implies that the above mentioned factors explained maximum inequalities in maternal and child health of urban population in India. Conclusion Findings suggest that illiteracy among women and her partner, poor economic status, and mass media exposure
Malmusi, Davide; Vives, Alejandra; Benach, Joan; Borrell, Carme
Women experience poorer health than men despite their longer life expectancy, due to a higher prevalence of non-fatal chronic illnesses. This paper aims to explore whether the unequal gender distribution of roles and resources can account for inequalities in general self-rated health (SRH) by gender, across social classes, in a Southern European population. Cross-sectional study of residents in Catalonia aged 25-64, using data from the 2006 population living conditions survey (n=5,817). Poisson regression models were used to calculate the fair/poor SRH prevalence ratio (PR) by gender and to estimate the contribution of variables assessing several dimensions of living conditions as the reduction in the PR after their inclusion in the model. Analyses were stratified by social class (non-manual and manual). SRH was poorer for women among both non-manual (PR 1.39, 95% CI 1.09-1.76) and manual social classes (PR 1.36, 95% CI 1.20-1.56). Adjustment for individual income alone eliminated the association between sex and SRH, especially among manual classes (PR 1.01, 95% CI 0.85-1.19; among non-manual 1.19, 0.92-1.54). The association was also reduced when adjusting by employment conditions among manual classes, and household material and economic situation, time in household chores and residential environment among non-manual classes. Gender inequalities in individual income appear to contribute largely to women's poorer health. Individual income may indicate the availability of economic resources, but also the history of access to the labour market and potentially the degree of independence and power within the household. Policies to facilitate women's labour market participation, to close the gender pay gap, or to raise non-contributory pensions may be helpful to improve women's health.
Stieda, Vivian; Colvin, Barb
In an effort to understand the extent of the inequalities in health information resources across Alberta, SEARCH Custom, HKN (Health Knowledge Network) and IRREN (Inter-Regional Research and Evaluation Network) conducted a survey in December 2007 to determine what library resources currently existed in Alberta's seven rural health regions and the two urban health regions. Although anecdotal evidence indicated that these gaps existed, the analysis was undertaken to provide empirical evidence of the exact nature of these gaps. The results, coupled with the published literature on the impact, effectiveness and value of information on clinical practice and administrative decisions in healthcare management, will be used to build momentum among relevant stakeholders to support a vision of equitably funded health information for all healthcare practitioners across the province of Alberta.
Full Text Available To assess social inequalities in the use of antenatal care (ANC, facility based delivery (FBD, and modern contraception (MC in two contrasting groups of countries in sub-Saharan Africa divided based on their progress towards maternal mortality reduction. Six countries were included in this study. Three countries (Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Uganda had 4.5% average annual reduction rate while another three (Cameroon, Zambia, and Zimbabwe had >550 MMR in 2010 with only <1.5% average annual reduction rate. All of these countries had at least three rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS before 2012. We measured rate ratios and differences, as well as relative and absolute concentration indices in order to examine within-country geographical and wealth-based inequalities in the utilization of ANC, FBD, and MC. In the countries which have made sufficient progress (i.e. Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Uganda, ANC use increased by 8.7, 9.3 and 5.7 percent, respectively, while the utilization of FBD increased by 4.7, 0.7 and 20.2 percent, respectively, over the last decade. By contrast, utilization of these services either plateaued or decreased in countries which did not make progress towards reducing maternal mortality, with the exception of Cameroon. Utilization of MC increased in all six countries but remained very low, with a high of 40.5% in Zimbabwe and low of 16.1% in Cameroon as of 2011. In general, relative measures of inequalities were found to have declined overtime in countries making progress towards reducing maternal mortality. In countries with insufficient progress towards maternal mortality reduction, these indicators remained stagnant or increased. Absolute measures for geographical and wealth-based inequalities remained high invariably in all six countries. The increasing trend in the utilization of maternal care services was found to concur with a steady decline in maternal mortality. Relative inequality declined overtime in countries
Davies, J K; Sherriff, N S
This paper seeks to introduce and analyse the development of the Gradient Evaluation Framework (GEF) to facilitate evaluation of policy actions for their current or future use in terms of their 'gradient friendliness'. In particular, this means their potential to level-up the gradient in health inequalities by addressing the social determinants of health and thereby reducing decision-makers' chances of error when developing such policy actions. A qualitative developmental study to produce a policy-based evaluation framework. The scientific basis of GEF was developed using a comprehensive consensus-building process. This process followed an initial narrative review, based on realist review principles, which highlighted the need for production of a dedicated evaluation framework. The consensus-building process included expert workshops, a pretesting phase, and external peer review, together with support from the Gradient project Scientific Advisory Group and all Gradient project partners, including its Project Steering Committee. GEF is presented as a flexible policy tool resulting from a consensus-building process involving experts from 13 European countries. The theoretical foundations which underpin GEF are discussed, together with a range of practical challenges. The importance of systematic evaluation at each stage of the policy development and implementation cycle is highlighted, as well as the socio-political context in which policy actions are located. GEF offers potentially a major contribution to the public health field in the form of a practical, policy-relevant and common frame of reference for the evaluation of public health interventions that aim to level-up the social gradient in health inequalities. Further research, including the need for practical field testing of GEF and the exploration of alternative presentational formats, is recommended. Copyright © 2013 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kure-Biegel, Nanna; Schnohr, Christina Warrer; Hindhede, Anette Lykke
BACKGROUND: Individual-based interventions aim to improve patient self-management of chronic disease and to improve lifestyle among people at high risk, to reduce the prevalence of diseases contributing to health inequality. The present study investigates risk factors for uncompleted health...... among people with low education (OR 1.82, 95 % CI 0.66; 5.03). Qualitative elaboration of these findings points to low self-control in jobs and a higher degree of comorbidity and treatment of diseases among the lower educated as determinants for not completing, but not lower motivation or less positive...... attitude toward the intervention itself. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates a social difference in dropout, and if dropout is to be prevented, there is a need to acknowledge factors such as organization of the intervention, lack of job flexibility, and comorbidity. If these factors are not addressed, people...
Epping, Jelena; Muschik, Denise; Geyer, Siegfried
Most studies on health disparities deal with the occurrence of disease, but little is known about inequalities in the utilization of mental health services. This paper examines social inequalities in the utilization of outpatient psychotherapy within a health care system where there are low financial barriers to health care and a lack of specific health policies to address access to psychotherapeutic services. Registry data of German statutory health insurance for the year 2013 were used (total population: N = 746,963; 10,711 women and men with psychotherapy). Logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the effects of three socio-economic (SES) indicators on the utilization of psychotherapy. Utilization of psychotherapy by SES status did not correspond to the social structure of the insured population. Social disparities that disadvantaged less privileged women and men were found; this applied to education, income and occupational position. The most pronounced differences were found for education. In contrast, effects of income were rather small. These findings must be interpreted against the backdrop of the absence of financial barriers to outpatient psychotherapy in Germany. A marked degree of psychotherapy under-utilization was found for lower SES groups. Psychotherapists should pay increased attention to clients with lower socio-economic position. Enhancing mental health literacy, as well as reducing the stigma of mental illness, is crucial for increasing the usage of psychotherapeutic services of those who need it most. Relevant health policy is needed to reduce the barriers to, and consequently increase psychotherapy utilization.
Baum Fran E
Full Text Available Abstract Background This paper reports on a qualitative study of lay knowledge about health inequalities and solutions to address them. Social determinants of health are responsible for a large proportion of health inequalities (unequal levels of health status and inequities (unfair access to health services and resources within and between countries. Despite an expanding evidence base supporting action on social determinants, understanding of the impact of these determinants is not widespread and political will appears to be lacking. A small but growing body of research has explored how ordinary people theorise health inequalities and the implications for taking action. The findings are variable, however, in terms of an emphasis on structure versus individual agency and the relationship between being 'at risk' and acceptance of social/structural explanations. Methods This paper draws on findings from a qualitative study conducted in Adelaide, South Australia, to examine these questions. The study was an integral part of mixed-methods research on the links between urban location, social capital and health. It comprised 80 in-depth interviews with residents in four locations with contrasting socio-economic status. The respondents were asked about the cause of inequalities and actions that could be taken by governments to address them. Results Although generally willing to discuss health inequalities, many study participants tended to explain the latter in terms of individual behaviours and attitudes rather than social/structural conditions. Moreover, those who identified social/structural causes tended to emphasise individualized factors when describing typical pathways to health outcomes. This pattern appeared largely independent of participants' own experience of advantage or disadvantage, and was reinforced in discussion of strategies to address health inequalities. Conclusions Despite the explicit emphasis on social/structural issues
Rezaei, S; Karyani, A K; Fallah, R; Matin, B K
This study aimed to evaluate inequalities in the geographical distribution of human and physical resources in the health sector of Kermanshah province, Islamic Republic of Iran. In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, data from the Statistical Centre of Iran were used to calculate inequality measures (Gini coefficient and index of dissimilarity) over the years 2005-11. The highest Gini coefficient for human resources was observed for pharmacists in 2005 (0.75) and the lowest for paramedics in 2010 and 2011 (0.10). The highest indices of dissimilarity were also for pharmacists in 2005 (29%) and paramedics in 2011 (3%). For physical resources, the highest and lowest Gini coefficients were for rehabilitation centres in 2010 (0.59) and health houses in 2011 (0.12) respectively. Generally, inequalities in the distribution of health care resources were lower at the end of the study period, although there was potential for more equitable distribution of pharmacists, specialists, health houses and beds.
Holstein, Bjørn E; Currie, Candace; Boyce, Will
samples of schools in 37 countries in Europe and North America. The outcome measure was prevalence of at least two daily health complaints, measured by the HBSC Symptom Check List. We included three independent variables at the individual level (sex, age group, family affluence measured by the Family......OBJECTIVES: To use comparable data from many countries to examine 1) socio-economic inequality in multiple health complaints among adolescents, 2) whether the countries' absolute wealth and economic inequality was associated with symptom load among adolescents, and 3) whether the countries......' absolute wealth and economic inequality explained part of the individual level socio-economic variation in health complaints. METHODS: The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) international study from 2005/06 provided data on 204,534 11-, 13- and 15-year old students from nationally random...
Mújica, Oscar J
As the conceptual components of the most important contemporary public health agendas at the global and regional levels are brought into alignment and as it becomes more clearly understood that equity is a constitutive principle of these agendas, there is also a growing awareness of the strategic value of monitoring social inequalities in health. This is the health intelligence tool par excellence, not only for objectively assessing progress towards achieving health equity, but also for reporting action on the social determinants of health, progress towards the attainment of health for all, and the success of intersectoral efforts that take a "health in all policies" approach. These transformations are taking place in the context of an increasingly evident paradigm shift in public health. This essay presents four axiological considerations inherent to-and essential for -conceptualizing and implementing ways to measure and monitor health inequalities: ecoepidemiology as an emerging field in contemporary public health; the determinants of health as the causal model and core of the new paradigm; the relationship between the social hierarchy and health to understand the health gradient; and the practical need for a socioeconomic classification system that captures the social dimension in the determinants of health. The essay argues that these four axiological considerations lend epidemiologic coherence and rationality to the process of measuring and monitoring health inequalities and, by extension, to the development of pro-equity health policy proposals.
Mobaraki, A E H; Söderfeldt, B
In Saudi Arabia, local interpretations of Islamic laws and social norms have a negative impact on the health and well-being of women. The objective of this literature review was to discuss gender inequity in Saudi Arabia and its relation to public health. Despite the scarcity of recent statistics and information regarding gender inequity in Saudi Arabia, this review is an attempt to explore this sensitive issue in this country. Women's roles and rights in Saudi society were examined, including education, marriage, polygamy, fertility, job opportunities, car driving and identification cards. Further research to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices towards health care of Saudi men and women is recommended.
Morrison, Joana; Borrell, Carme; Marí-Dell'Olmo, Marc; Ruiz Cantero, María Teresa; Benach, Joan; Fernández, Esteve; Pasarín, M Isabel; Pérez, Glòria; Cascant, Lorena; Alvarez-Dardet, Carlos; Artazcoz, Lucía; Pérez, Katherine; García-Calvente, María Del Mar; Ruiz, Isabel
To describe gender inequalities in positions of leadership and scientific recognition in activities carried out by the Spanish Public Health and Health Administration Society (SESPAS), the Spanish Epidemiology Society (SEE) and the Health Economics Association (AES) for 2000-2009. We performed a descriptive study of the gender distribution of the boards of directors, scientific and conference organization committees and chairpersons of the SESPAS, SEE and AES. The gender distribution of the editorial board of Gaceta Sanitaria, and of the authors of editorials published in the journal, as well as that of the editors of SESPAS Reports, was also analyzed. Between 2000 and 2009, there was a slight increase in women's participation in the SESPAS and there was greater gender parity in the SEE. However, representation of women in the AES was low. The causes of gender inequalities in public health professional societies should continue to be analyzed and actions should be taken to change the present situation. Copyright © 2009 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Maria Luisa Lima
Full Text Available Abstract Health inequalities are very well documented in epidemiological research: rich people live longer and have fewer diseases than poor people. Recently, a growing amount of evidence from environmental sciences confirms that poor people are also more exposed to pollution and other environmental threats. However, research in the social sciences has shown a broad lack of awareness about health inequalities. In this paper, based on data collected in Portugal, we will analyze the consciousness of both health and environmental injustices and test one hypothesis for this social blindness. The results show, even more clearly than before, that public opinion tends to see rich and poor people as being equally susceptible to health and environmental events. Furthermore, those who have this equal view of the world present lower levels of depression and anxiety. Following cognitive adaptation theory, this “belief in an equal world” can be interpreted as a protective positive illusion about social justice, particularly relevant in one of the most unequal countries in Europe.
van Lenthe, Frank J; Kamphuis, Carlijn B M; Beenackers, Mariëlle A; Jansen, Tessa; Looman, Caspar W N; Nusselder, Wilma J; Mackenbach, Johan P
The main aim of the Gezondheid en Levens Omstandigheden Bevolking Eindhoven en omstreken (GLOBE) study (the letters of whose name represent the first letters of the Dutch acronym for Health and Living Conditions of the Population of Eindhoven and surroundings) is to quantitatively assess mechanisms and factors explaining socio-economic inequalities in health in the Netherlands. Baseline data for the study were collected by postal survey in 1991 among 18,973 respondents ranging in age from 15-75 years from the city of Eindhoven and its surrounding municipalities. Subsamples (total N=5667) were interviewed and/or surveyed in 1991, 1997, 2004 (also including a new sample), and most recently in 2011. Information was asked on indicators of socio-economic position, a range of potential explanatory factors (material, behavioural, psychosocial, and environmental) and health outcomes. From 2004 onwards, special emphasis was given to the identification of physical, social, and cultural environmental factors in the explanation of socio-economic inequalities in health behaviours. Information from the baseline postal survey onwards can and has been linked to several registries of causes of death, hospital admissions, and cancer. Researchers are cordially invited to contact the project leader (firstname.lastname@example.org) to propose research based on the data.
Tamez González, Silvia; Eibenschutz, Catalina
This work is aimed at presenting an analysis of the Mexican health systems current situation resulting from successive reforms which have been carried out since the 1980s. Special interest is placed on the role which the Seguro Popular de Salud (SPS--a 'popular', meaning universal, health insurance plan) has played, being a key piece in commercializing medical attention. The first part of this work thus presents the main antecedents for the changes made during the last two decades of the last century and analyses the current situation since the start of the new millennium. Such analysis is centred on an initial evaluation of the Seguro Popular de Saluds scope and limitations from the perspective of equity in gaining access to medical attention. The analysis concludes that due to a medical perspective not having been present in the structural reforms, then this insurance policy represents a discretional, presidential and focalised programme taking funds away from the large social security institutions, obligating them (in many cases) to make budgetary adaptations to the detriment of providing quality attention. This situation will constitute (in the immediate future) a segmentation of the National Health System which will determine new conditions regarding the populations differential access to medical services, increase inequity in health and contribute towards increasing the great social inequality prevailing in México.
Pérez, Glòria; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Domínguez-Berjón, Felicitas; Cabeza, Elena; Borrell, Carme
The economic crisis has adverse effects on determinants of health and health inequalities. The aim of this article was to present a set of indicators of health and its determinants to monitor the effects of the crisis in Spain. On the basis of the conceptual framework proposed by the Commission for the Reduction of Social Health Inequalities in Spain, we searched for indicators of social, economic, and political (structural and intermediate) determinants of health, as well as for health indicators, bearing in mind the axes of social inequality (gender, age, socioeconomic status, and country of origin). The indicators were mainly obtained from official data sources published on the internet. The selected indicators are periodically updated and are comparable over time and among territories (among autonomous communities and in some cases among European Union countries), and are available for age groups, gender, socio-economic status, and country of origin. However, many of these indicators are not sufficiently reactive to rapid change, which occurs in the economic crisis, and consequently require monitoring over time. Another limitation is the lack of availability of indicators for the various axes of social inequality. In conclusion, the proposed indicators allow for progress in monitoring the effects of the economic crisis on health and health inequalities in Spain.
Theodorakis, Pavlos N; Mantzavinis, Georgios D; Rrumbullaku, Llukan; Lionis, Christos; Trell, Erik
The health workforce has a dynamically changing nature and the regular documentation of the distribution of health professionals is a persistent policy concern. The aim of the present study was to examine available human medical resources in primary care and identify possible inequalities regarding the distribution of general practitioners in Albania between 2000 and 2004. With census data, we investigated the degree of inequality by calculating relative inequality indices. We plotted the Lorenz curves and calculated the Gini, Atkinson and Robin Hood indices and decile ratios, both before and after adjusting for mortality and consultation rates. The Gini index for the distribution of general practitioners in 2000 was 0.154. After adjusting for mortality it was 0.126, while after adjusting for consultation rates it was 0.288. The Robin Hood index for 2000 was 11.2%, which corresponds to 173 general practitioners who should be relocated in order to achieve equality. The corresponding figure after adjusting for mortality was 9.2% (142 general practitioners), while after adjusting for consultation rates the number was 20.6% (315). These figures changed to 6.3% (100), 6.3% (115) and 19.8% (315) in 2004. There was a declining trend in the inequality of distribution of general practitioners in Albania between 2000 and 2004. The trend in inequality was apparent irrespective of the relative inequality indicator used. The level of inequality varied depending on the adjustment method used. Reallocation strategies for general practitioners in Albania could be the key in alleviating the inequalities in primary care workforce distribution.
Mantzavinis Georgios D
Full Text Available Abstract Background The health workforce has a dynamically changing nature and the regular documentation of the distribution of health professionals is a persistent policy concern. The aim of the present study was to examine available human medical resources in primary care and identify possible inequalities regarding the distribution of general practitioners in Albania between 2000 and 2004. Methods With census data, we investigated the degree of inequality by calculating relative inequality indices. We plotted the Lorenz curves and calculated the Gini, Atkinson and Robin Hood indices and decile ratios, both before and after adjusting for mortality and consultation rates. Results The Gini index for the distribution of general practitioners in 2000 was 0.154. After adjusting for mortality it was 0.126, while after adjusting for consultation rates it was 0.288. The Robin Hood index for 2000 was 11.2%, which corresponds to 173 general practitioners who should be relocated in order to achieve equality. The corresponding figure after adjusting for mortality was 9.2% (142 general practitioners, while after adjusting for consultation rates the number was 20.6% (315. These figures changed to 6.3% (100, 6.3% (115 and 19.8% (315 in 2004. Conclusion There was a declining trend in the inequality of distribution of general practitioners in Albania between 2000 and 2004. The trend in inequality was apparent irrespective of the relative inequality indicator used. The level of inequality varied depending on the adjustment method used. Reallocation strategies for general practitioners in Albania could be the key in alleviating the inequalities in primary care workforce distribution.
Szwarcwald, Célia Landmann; Souza Júnior, Paulo Roberto Borges de; Marques, Aline Pinto; Almeida, Wanessa da Silva de; Montilla, Dalia Elena Romero
The demographic shift and epidemiologic transition in Brazil have drawn attention to ways of measuring population health that complement studies of mortality. In this paper, we investigate regional differences in healthy life expectancy based on information from the National Health Survey (PNS), 2013. In the survey, a three-stage cluster sampling (census tracts, households and individuals) with stratification of the primary sampling units and random selection in all stages was used to select 60,202 Brazilian adults (18 years and over). Healthy life expectancies (HLE) were estimated by Sullivan's method according to sex, age and geographic region, using poor self-rated health for defining unhealthy status. Logistic regression models were used to investigate socioeconomic and regional inequalities in poor self-rated health, after controlling by sex and age. Wide disparities by geographic region were found with the worst indicators in the North and Northeast regions, whether considering educational attainment, material deprivation, or health care utilization. Life expectancy at birth for women and men living in the richest regions was 5 years longer than for those living in the less wealthy regions. Modeling the variation across regions for poor self-rated health, statistically significant effects (p < 0.001) were found for the North and Northeast when compared to the Southeast, even after controlling for age, sex, diagnosis of at least one non-communicable chronic disease, and schooling or socioeconomic class. Marked regional inequalities in HLE were found, with the loss of healthy life much higher among residents of the poorest regions, especially among the elderly. By combining data on self-rated health status and mortality in a single indicator, Healthy Life Expectancy, this study demonstrated the excess burden of poor health experienced by populations in the less wealthy regions of Brazil. To mitigate the effects of social exclusion, the development of strategies
Rocha, Kátia Bones; Muntaner, Carles; González Rodríguez, María José; Baksai, Pamela Bernales; Vallebuona, Clelia; Borrell, Carme; Solar, Orielle
To analyze links between social class and health-related indicators and behaviors in Chilean workers, from a neo-Marxian perspective. A cross-sectional study based on the First National Survey on Employment, Work, Health, and Quality of Life of Workers in Chile, done in 2009-2010 (n = 9 503). Dependent variables were self-perceived health status and mental health, examined using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Health-related behavior variables included tobacco use and physical activity. The independent variable was neo-Marxian social class. Descriptive analyses of prevalence were performed and odds ratio (OR) models and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were estimated. Medium employers (between 2 and 10 employees) reported a lower prevalence of poor health (21.6% [OR 0.68; 95%CI 0.46-0.99]). Unskilled managers had the lowest mental health risk (OR 0.43; 95%CI 0.21-0.88), with differences between men and women. Large employers (more than 10 employees) reported smoking the least, while large employers, expert supervisors, and semi-skilled workers engaged in significantly more physical activity. Large employers and expert managers have the best health-related indicators and behaviors. Formal proletarians, informal proletarians, and unskilled supervisors, however, have the worst general health indicators, confirming that social class is a key determinant in the generation of population health inequalities.
Corna, Laurie M
Social scientists and public health researchers have long known that social position is related to health and that socioeconomic inequalities in health persist in later life. Increasingly, a life course perspective is adopted to understand the socioeconomic position (SEP)-health dynamic. This paper critically reviews the conceptual perspectives underlying empirical research seeking to better understand socioeconomic inequalities in health in the context of the life course. I comment on the contributions of this work, but also its limitations. In particular, I note the emphasis on understanding the mechanisms linking SEP to health, to the exclusion of research on the institutional and structural factors associated with socioeconomic inequalities over the life course. I also critique the relative absence of gender in this work, and how, by not linking individual experiences to the social policy contexts that shape resources and opportunities, the proximal, rather than the structural or institutional determinants of health are emphasized. I suggest that moving forward, a return to some of the key tenets of life course theory, including contributions from the comparative welfare states literature, may better inform life course analyses of socioeconomic inequalities in health. Specific suggestions for life scholarship are discussed.
T.M. Bago d'Uva (Teresa); O.A. O'Donnell (Owen); E.K.A. van Doorslaer (Eddy)
textabstractBackground: This study aims to establish whether health reporting differs by education level and, if so, to determine the extent to which this biases the measurement of health inequalities among older Europeans. Methods: Data are from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
Rathmann, Katharina; Ottova, Veronika; Hurrelmann, Klaus; de Looze, Margarethe; Levin, Kate; Molcho, Michal; Elgar, Frank; Gabhainn, Saoirse Nic; van Dijk, Jitse P.; Richter, Matthias
Objectives: Cross-national studies have rarely focused on young people. The aim of this study is to investigate whether macro-level determinants are associated with health and socioeconomic inequalities in young people's health. Study design: Data were collected from the Health Behaviour in School-a
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Considerable evidence suggests that communication inequality is one potential mechanism linking social determinants, particularly socioeconomic status, and health inequalities. This study aimed to examine how dimensions of health communication outcomes (health information seeking, self-efficacy, exposure, and trust are patterned by socioeconomic status in Japan. METHODS: Data of a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 2,455 people aged 15-75 years in Japan were used for secondary analysis. Measures included socio-demographic characteristics, subjective health, recent health information seeking, self-efficacy in seeking health information, and exposure to and trust in health information from different media. RESULTS: A total of 1,311 participants completed the questionnaire, giving a response rate of 53.6%. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that education and household income, but not employment, were significantly associated with health information seeking and self-efficacy. Socioeconomic status was not associated with exposure to and trust in health information from mass media, but was significantly associated with health information from healthcare providers and the Internet. CONCLUSION: Health communication outcomes were patterned by socioeconomic status in Japan thus demonstrating the prevalence of health communication inequalities. Providing customized exposure to and enhancing the quality of health information by considering social determinants may contribute to addressing social disparities in health in Japan.
Mtenga, Sally; Masanja, Irene M; Mamdani, Masuma
Background Tanzania’s socio-economic development is challenged by sharp inequities between and within urban and rural areas, and among different socio-economic groups. This paper discusses the importance of strengthening SDH research, knowledge, relevant capacities and responsive systems towards addressing health inequities in Tanzania. Methods Based on a conceptual framework for building SDH research capacity, a mapping of existing research systems was undertaken between February and June 20...
Jongeneel-Grimen, Birthe; Droomers, Mariël; Stronks, Karien; Kunst, Anton E
We estimate to what extent migration contributes to inequalities in health between rich and poor neighbourhoods in The Netherlands. We used a sample from the survey WoonOnderzoek Nederland 2006. Using multilevel logistic regression analyses, we assessed the magnitude of health differences between poor vs. rich areas for the migrant and total population. Next, we compared the health of migrants to non-migrant populations and we assessed the role of sociodemographic characteristics. For most health indicators, area inequalities in health were much smaller in the migrant population than in the total population. The health of migrants was generally in-between the health of non-migrants who lived in areas of origin and destination. The differences in health with the population in the areas of origin were almost completely explained by sociodemographic characteristics. Health is related to risk of migration between poor and rich areas, mostly through sociodemographic selection instead of a direct effect of health. Despite the relationship with health, migration does not enlarge inequalities in health between poor and rich neighbourhoods but possibly attenuates the health differences.
Font-Ribera, Laia; García-Continente, Xavier; Davó-Blanes, M Carmen; Ariza, Carles; Díez, Elia; García Calvente, M del Mar; Maroto, Gracia; Suárez, Mónica; Rajmil, Luis
To identify and describe studies on social inequalities in child and adolescent health conducted in Spain with special emphasis on social determinants. In July 2012, we conducted a systematic review in the PubMed, MEDES, SCOPUS and COCHRANE databases. We included studies on social inequalities in child and adolescent health in Spain published between 2000 and 2012. A total of 2147 abstracts were reviewed by two researchers and 80 manuscripts were fully reviewed by three researchers. Risk of bias was assessed. Seventy-two articles were finally included. A total of 83% of the studies were cross-sectional and the most frequently studied age group consisted of 13-15-year-olds. More than 20 individual or group determinants were identified. The most frequently analyzed determinants were the most advantaged educational level and occupation of the mother or the father. In 38% of the studies analyzing education and occupation, there was no definition of the determinant. Social inequalities were detected in dental health with all determinants and in all age groups (9% of studies with a high risk of bias). Social inequalities were also detected in obesity, physical activity and mental health with some determinants. Specific data were missing for younger children. No social inequalities were found in the use of health services, excluding dental care. Few studies analyzed immigration and 42% of them had a high risk of bias. Wide diversity was found in the measurement of social determinants, with a lack of studies in preschoolers and of studies with longitudinal designs. The results of this study confirm social inequalities in some aspects of health. Copyright © 2013 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Mansyur, Carol Leler; Amick, Benjamin C; Harrist, Ronald B; Franzini, Luisa; Roberts, Robert E
In a 2001 report, the U.S. National Institutes of Health called for more integration of the social sciences into health-related research, including research guided by theories and methods that take social and cultural systems into consideration. Based on a theoretical framework that integrates Hofstede's cultural dimensions with sociological theory, the authors used multilevel modeling to explore the association of culture with structural inequality and health disparities. Their results support the idea that cultural dimensions and social structure, along with economic development, may account for much of the cross-national variation in the distribution of health inequalities. Sensitivity tests also suggest that an interaction between culture and social structure may confound the relationship between income inequality and health. It is necessary to identify important cultural and social structural characteristics before we can achieve an understanding of the complex, dynamic systems that affect health, and develop culturally sensitive interventions and policies. This study takes a step toward identifying some of the relevant cultural and structural influences. More research is needed to explore the pathways leading from the sociocultural environment to health inequalities.
Bhandari, Bishal; Newton, Jonathan T; Bernabé, Eduardo
To explore the interrelationships between income inequality, disinvestment in health care, and use of dental services at country level. This study pooled national estimates for use of dental services among adults aged 18 years or older from the 70 countries that participated in the World Health Survey from 2002 to 2004, together with aggregate data on national income (GDP per capita), income inequality (Gini coefficient), and disinvestment in health care (total health expenditure and dentist-to-population ratio) from various international sources. Use of dental services was defined as having had dental problems in the last 12 months and having received any treatment to address those needs. Associations between variables were explored using Pearson correlation coefficients and linear regression. Data from 63 countries representing the six WHO regions were analyzed. Use of dental services was negatively correlated with Gini coefficient (Pearson correlation coefficient -0.48, P dental services was attenuated but remained significant after adjustments for GDP per capita, total health expenditure, and dentist-to-population ratio (regression coefficient -0.36; 95% CI -0.57, -0.15). This study shows an inverse relationship between income inequality and use of dental services. Of the two indicators of disinvestment in health care assessed, only dentist-to-population ratio was associated with income inequality and use of dental services. © 2014 American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Moss, Nancy E
This paper explores the interrelationship of gender equity and socioeconomic inequality and how they affect women's health at the macro- (country) and micro- (household and individual) levels. An integrated framework draws theoretical perspectives from both approaches and from public health. Determinants of women's health in the geopolitical environment include country-specific history and geography, policies and services, legal rights, organizations and institutions, and structures that shape gender and economic inequality. Culture, norms and sanctions at the country and community level, and sociodemographic characteristics at the individual level, influence women's productive and reproductive roles in the household and workplace. Social capital, roles, psychosocial stresses and resources. health services, and behaviors mediate social, economic and cultural effects on health outcomes. Inequality between and within households contributes to the patterning of women's health. Within the framework, relationships may vary depending upon women's lifestage and cohort experience. Examples of other relevant theoretical frameworks are discussed. The conclusion suggests strategies to improve data, influence policy, and extend research to better understand the effect of gender and socioeconomic inequality on women's health.
Mathur, Manu Raj; Singh, Ankur; Watt, Richard
Dentistry has always been an under-resourced profession. There are three main issues that dentistry is facing in the modern era. Firstly, how to rectify the widely acknowledged geographical imbalance in the demand and supply of dental personnel, secondly, how to provide access to primary dental care to maximum number of people, and thirdly, how to achieve both of these aims within the financial restraints imposed by the central and state governments. The trends of oral diseases have changed significantly in the last 20 years. The two of the most common oral diseases that affect a majority of the population worldwide, namely dental caries and periodontitis, have been proved to be entirely preventable. Even for life-threatening oral diseases like oral cancer, the best possible available treatment is prevention. There is a growing consensus that appropriate skill mix can prove very beneficial in providing these preventive dental care services to the public and aid in achieving the goal of universal oral health coverage. Professions complementary to dentistry (PCD) have been found to be effective in reducing inequalities in oral health, improving access and spreading the messages of health promotion across entire spectrum of socio-economic hierarchy in various studies conducted globally. This commentary provides a review of the effectiveness of skill mix in dentistry and a reflection on how this can be beneficial in achieving universal oral health care in India.
Manu Raj Mathur
Full Text Available Dentistry has always been an under-resourced profession. There are three main issues that dentistry is facing in the modern era. Firstly, how to rectify the widely acknowledged geographical imbalance in the demand and supply of dental personnel, secondly, how to provide access to primary dental care to maximum number of people, and thirdly, how to achieve both of these aims within the financial restraints imposed by the central and state governments. The trends of oral diseases have changed significantly in the last 20 years. The two of the most common oral diseases that affect a majority of the population worldwide, namely dental caries and periodontitis, have been proved to be entirely preventable. Even for life-threatening oral diseases like oral cancer, the best possible available treatment is prevention. There is a growing consensus that appropriate skill mix can prove very beneficial in providing these preventive dental care services to the public and aid in achieving the goal of universal oral health coverage. Professions complementary to dentistry (PCD have been found to be effective in reducing inequalities in oral health, improving access and spreading the messages of health promotion across entire spectrum of socio-economic hierarchy in various studies conducted globally. This commentary provides a review of the effectiveness of skill mix in dentistry and a reflection on how this can be beneficial in achieving universal oral health care in India.
d’Uva, Teresa Bago; Lindeboom, Maarten; O’Donnell, Owen; van Doorslaer, Eddy
Summary Reliance on self-rated health to proxy medical need can bias estimation of education-related inequity in healthcare utilization. We correct this bias both by instrumenting self-rated health with objective health indicators and by purging self-rated health of reporting heterogeneity that is identified from health vignettes. Using data on elderly Europeans, we find that instrumenting self-rated health shifts the distribution of visits to a doctor in the direction of inequality favouring the better educated. There is a further, and typically larger, shift in the same direction when correction is made for the tendency of the better educated to rate their health more negatively. PMID:21938140
Full Text Available Abstract Background In the Indian context, a household's caste characteristics are most relevant for identifying its poverty and vulnerability status. Inadequate provision of public health care, the near-absence of health insurance and increasing dependence on the private health sector have impoverished the poor and the marginalised, especially the scheduled tribe population. This study examines caste-based inequalities in households' out-of-pocket health expenditure in the south Indian state of Kerala and provides evidence on the consequent financial burden inflicted upon households in different caste groups. Methods Using data from a 2003-2004 panel survey in Kottathara Panchayat that collected detailed information on health care consumption from 543 households, we analysed inequality in per capita out-of-pocket health expenditure across castes by considering households' health care needs and types of care utilised. We used multivariate regression to measure the caste-based inequality in health expenditure. To assess health expenditure burden, we analysed households incurring high health expenses and their sources of finance for meeting health expenses. Results The per capita health expenditures reported by four caste groups accord with their status in the caste hierarchy. This was confirmed by multivariate analysis after controlling for health care needs and influential confounders. Households with high health care needs are more disadvantaged in terms of spending on health care. Households with high health care needs are generally at higher risk of spending heavily on health care. Hospitalisation expenditure was found to have the most impoverishing impacts, especially on backward caste households. Conclusion Caste-based inequality in household health expenditure reflects unequal access to quality health care by different caste groups. Households with high health care needs and chronic health care needs are most affected by this inequality
Mukherjee, Subrata; Haddad, Slim; Narayana, Delampady
In the Indian context, a household's caste characteristics are most relevant for identifying its poverty and vulnerability status. Inadequate provision of public health care, the near-absence of health insurance and increasing dependence on the private health sector have impoverished the poor and the marginalised, especially the scheduled tribe population. This study examines caste-based inequalities in households' out-of-pocket health expenditure in the south Indian state of Kerala and provides evidence on the consequent financial burden inflicted upon households in different caste groups. Using data from a 2003-2004 panel survey in Kottathara Panchayat that collected detailed information on health care consumption from 543 households, we analysed inequality in per capita out-of-pocket health expenditure across castes by considering households' health care needs and types of care utilised. We used multivariate regression to measure the caste-based inequality in health expenditure. To assess health expenditure burden, we analysed households incurring high health expenses and their sources of finance for meeting health expenses. The per capita health expenditures reported by four caste groups accord with their status in the caste hierarchy. This was confirmed by multivariate analysis after controlling for health care needs and influential confounders. Households with high health care needs are more disadvantaged in terms of spending on health care. Households with high health care needs are generally at higher risk of spending heavily on health care. Hospitalisation expenditure was found to have the most impoverishing impacts, especially on backward caste households. Caste-based inequality in household health expenditure reflects unequal access to quality health care by different caste groups. Households with high health care needs and chronic health care needs are most affected by this inequality. Households in the most marginalised castes and with high health care
Full Text Available Background: Inequality in households’ payments on food and health expenditures presents the accessibility and utili-zation patterns between them. This study investigated the Iranian rural and urban households’ inequality in payments on food and Out-of-Pocket health expenditures from 1998 to 2012.Methods: This descriptive study was conducted through the analysis of Iranian Statistics Centre data on Iranian households’ income and expenditures. The Gini Coefficients, Concentration and Kakwani indices have been calculat-ed for Iranian rural and urban households’ Out-of-Pocket health and food expenditures.Results: The means of Iranian rural and urban total consumption expenditures inequality were 0.48 and 0.48, respec-tively. The means of concentration index of food expenditures for rural and urban regions were 0.35 and 0.34, respec-tively. The means of Out-of-Pocket payments for health services for rural and urban regions were 0.51 and 0.5, re-spectively. Finally the means of Kakwani index of Out-of-Pocket health payments in rural and urban households were -0.005 and -0.018, respectively.Conclusion: There are relative high levels of inequality in Iranian households’ payments on food and Out-of-Pocket health expenditures.
Moor, Irene; Spallek, Jacob; Richter, Matthias
Material, psychosocial and behavioural factors are important explanatory pathways for socioeconomic inequalities in health. The aim of this systematic review was to summarise the available evidence on empirical studies and to analyse the relative contribution of these factors for explaining inequalities in self-rated health. The study was performed in compliance with PRISMA guidelines. The literature search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed and Web of Science (1996-2016) as well as by screening of reference lists of obtained articles. Two reviewers performed the search and critical appraisal of the studies. All studies that focus on explaining socioeconomic inequalities in self-rated health, including at least 2 of the 3 main pathways and analysing the relative contribution of these approaches in separate and joint models, were included. Eleven publications were included. Separate analyses showed that material, psychosocial and behavioural factors contribute to the explanation of socioeconomic inequalities in self-rated health. However, the combined analyses revealed that material factors contributed most to differences in self-rated health because of their higher independent (direct) effect and additional shared (indirect) effect (through psychosocial and behavioural factors). These results were largely independent of age, gender and indicator of socioeconomic status. The evidence presented might be used for policymakers to identify and to justify prioritisation in terms of prevention and health promotion. The findings show that multiple factors are important for tackling social inequalities in health. Strategies for reducing these inequalities should focus on material/structural living conditions as they shape conditions of psychosocial resources and health behaviour. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
Nieuwenhuijsen, K.; Schene, A.H.; Stronks, K.; Snijder, M.B.; Frings-Dresen, M.H.; Sluiter, J.K.
BACKGROUND: Ethnic inequalities in mental health have been found in many high-income countries. The purpose of this study is to test whether mental health inequalities between ethnic groups are mediated by exposure to unfavourable working conditions. METHODS: Workers (n = 6278) were selected from ba
Michaelson, Valerie; Freeman, John; King, Nathan; Ascough, Hannah; Davison, Colleen; Trothen, Tracy; Phillips, Sian; Pickett, William
Spiritual health, along with physical, emotional, and social aspects, is one of four domains of health. Assessment in this field of research is challenging methodologically. No contemporary population-based studies have profiled the spiritual health of adolescent Canadians with a focus on health inequalities. In a 2014 nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 11-15 years we therefore: (1) psychometrically evaluated a series of items used to assess the perceived importance of spiritual health and its four potential sub-domains (connections with: self, others, nature and the natural environment, and the transcendent) to adolescents; (2) described potential inequalities in spiritual health within adolescent populations, overall and by spiritual health sub-domain, by key socio-demographic factors. Cross-sectional analysis of survey reports from the 2014 (Cycle 7) of the Canadian Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (weighted n = 25,036). Principal components analysis followed by confirmatory factor analysis were used to explore the psychometric properties of the spiritual health items and the associated composite scale describing perceived importance of spiritual health. Associations among this composite scale, its individual sub-domains, and key socio-demographic factors were then explored. The principal components analysis best supported a four-factor structure where the eight scale items loaded highly according to the original four domains. This was also supported in confirmatory factor analyses. We then combined the eight items into composite spiritual health score as supported by theory, principal components analysis findings, and acceptable tests of reliability. Further confirmatory factor analysis suggested the need for additional refinements to this scale. Based upon exploratory cross-sectional analyses, strong socio-demographic inequalities were observed in the spiritual health measures by age, gender, relative material wealth
Schwartz, Joseph A
Previous research has identified long-term exposure to stress as a risk factor for negative mental and physical health outcomes. This pattern of findings suggests that environmental stimuli that evoke feelings of stress or strain may also result in physiological responses, which may accumulate over the life course and ultimately increase the overall risk of various physical health conditions. This physiological "wear and tear" resulting from sustained levels of stress or strain has been previously operationalized as allostatic load (AL), a comprehensive indicator of stress exposure. The current study examines the association between one potential environmental stressor-perceived inequality-and AL with a research design aimed at addressing both observed and unobserved sources of confounding; it also employs a more comprehensive AL measure (comprised of 24 biomarkers tapping seven physiological systems) than previous studies. The biomarker twin sample from the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study was used to estimate a series of twin comparison models, which include controls for latent sources of influence that cluster within families. The sibling comparison models also included additional controls for lifestyle choices, overall physical health, and demographics which may confound the examined associations. The results revealed significant associations between greater perceptions of inequality and greater overall levels of AL. The association persisted even after including controls for both observed and unobserved influences that may confound the examined associations but was limited to more recent measures of perceived inequality. Associations involving earlier measures of perceived inequality, along with a lifetime measure, failed to reach conventional levels of significance. Perceived inequality appears to be a robust predictor of AL and potentially contributes to subsequent physical health problems, particularly for more proximate forms of
Masuda, Jeffrey R; Teelucksingh, Cheryl; Zupancic, Tara; Crabtree, Alexis; Haber, Rebecca; Skinner, Emily; Poland, Blake; Frankish, Jim; Fridell, Mara
In this paper, we report the results of a three-year research project (2008-2011) that aimed to identify urban environmental health inequities using a photography-mediated qualitative approach adapted for comparative neighbourhood-level assessment. The project took place in Vancouver, Toronto, and Winnipeg, Canada and involved a total of 49 inner city community researchers who compared environmental health conditions in numerous neighbourhoods across each city. Using the social determinants of health as a guiding framework, community researchers observed a wide range of differences in health-influencing private and public spaces, including sanitation services, housing, parks and gardens, art displays, and community services. The comparative process enabled community researchers to articulate in five distinct ways how such observable conditions represented system level inequities. The findings inform efforts to shift environmental health intervention from constricted action within derelict urban districts to more coordinated mobilization for health equity in the city.
Palmer Victoria J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities. Results Some see doctors as bound by a notion of care that is blind to a patient's social position, while others respond to this issue through invoking notions of justice and human rights where access to care is a prime focus. Both care and justice orientations however conceal important tensions linked to the presence of bioethical principles underpinning these. Other normative ethical theories like deontology, virtue ethics and utilitarianism do not provide adequate guidance on the problem of social health inequities either. Conclusion This paper explores if Bauman's notion of "forms of togetherness" provides the basis of a relational ethical theory that can help to develop a response to social health inequities of relevance to individual physicians. This theory goes beyond silence on the influence of social position of health and avoids amoral regulatory approaches to monitoring equity of care provision.
Background Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities. Results Some see doctors as bound by a notion of care that is blind to a patient's social position, while others respond to this issue through invoking notions of justice and human rights where access to care is a prime focus. Both care and justice orientations however conceal important tensions linked to the presence of bioethical principles underpinning these. Other normative ethical theories like deontology, virtue ethics and utilitarianism do not provide adequate guidance on the problem of social health inequities either. Conclusion This paper explores if Bauman's notion of "forms of togetherness" provides the basis of a relational ethical theory that can help to develop a response to social health inequities of relevance to individual physicians. This theory goes beyond silence on the influence of social position of health and avoids amoral regulatory approaches to monitoring equity of care provision. PMID:20438627
Furler, John S; Palmer, Victoria J
Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities. Some see doctors as bound by a notion of care that is blind to a patient's social position, while others respond to this issue through invoking notions of justice and human rights where access to care is a prime focus. Both care and justice orientations however conceal important tensions linked to the presence of bioethical principles underpinning these. Other normative ethical theories like deontology, virtue ethics and utilitarianism do not provide adequate guidance on the problem of social health inequities either. This paper explores if Bauman's notion of "forms of togetherness" provides the basis of a relational ethical theory that can help to develop a response to social health inequities of relevance to individual physicians. This theory goes beyond silence on the influence of social position of health and avoids amoral regulatory approaches to monitoring equity of care provision.
Full Text Available Abstract Background As socioeconomic health inequalities persist and widen, the health effects of adversity are a constant presence in the daily work of physicians. Gruen and colleagues suggest that, in responding to important population health issues such as this, defining those areas of professional obligation in contrast to professional aspiration should be on the basis of evidence and feasibility. Drawing this line between obligation and aspiration is a part of the work of professional medical colleges and associations, and in doing so they must respond to members as well as a range of other interest groups. Our aim was to explore the usefulness of Gruen's model of physician responsibility in defining how professional medical colleges and associations should lead the profession in responding to socioeconomic health inequalities. Methods We report a case study of how the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is responding to the issue of health inequalities through its work. We undertook a consultation (80 interviews with stakeholders internal and external to the College and two focus groups with general practitioners and program and policy review of core programs of College interest and responsibility: general practitioner training and setting of practice standards, as well as its work in public advocacy. Results Some strategies within each of these College program areas were seen as legitimate professional obligations in responding to socioeconomic health inequality. However, other strategies, while potentially professional obligations within Gruen's model, were nevertheless contested. The key difference between these lay in different moral orientations. Actions where agreement existed were based on an ethos of care and compassion. Actions that were contested were based on an ethos of justice and human rights. Conclusion Colleges and professional medical associations have a role in explicitly leading a debate about values
Kong, Kyoung Ae; Khang, Young-Ho; Cho, Hong-Jun; Jang, Sung-Mi; Jung-Choi, Kyunghee
. Policy efforts to improve workplace environments in nonskilled and skilled workers and nonskilled supervisors would have a moderate effect on reducing the magnitude of social class inequality in self-rated health. Furthermore, the means to improve power relations in the workplace should be devised to further reduce the social class inequalities in health.
Bacigalupe, Amaia; Escolar-Pujolar, Antonio
Since 2008, Western countries are going through a deep economic crisis whose health impacts seem to be fundamentally counter-cyclical: when economic conditions worsen, so does health, and mortality tends to rise. While a growing number of studies have presented evidence on the effect of crises on the average population health, a largely neglected aspect of research is the impact of crises and the related political responses on social inequalities in health, even if the negative consequences of the crises are primarily borne by the most disadvantaged populations. This commentary will reflect on the results of the studies that have analyzed the effect of economic crises on social inequalities in health up to 2013. With some exceptions, the studies show an increase in health inequalities during crises, especially during the Southeast Asian and Japanese crises and the Soviet Union crisis, although it is not always evident for both sexes or all health or socioeconomic variables. In the Nordic countries during the nineties, a clear worsening of health equity did not occur. Results about the impacts of the current economic recession on health equity are still inconsistent. Some of the factors that could explain this variability in results are the role of welfare state policies, the diversity of time periods used in the analyses, the heterogeneity of socioeconomic and health variables considered, the changes in the socioeconomic profile of the groups under comparison in times of crises, and the type of measures used to analyze the magnitude of social inequalities in health. Social epidemiology should further collaborate with other disciplines to help produce more accurate and useful evidence about the relationship between crises and health equity.
As health and social inequalities appear to be increasing within and between EU countries, the Council of the European Union encourages Member States to create and promote policies, strategies, and initiatives that support a healthy lifestyle throughout the life-course. Promoting and supporting...
M.J. Aarts (Mieke); C.B.M. Kamphuis (Carlijn); M.W.J. Louwman (Marieke); J.W.W. Coebergh (Jan Willem); J.P. Mackenbach (Johan); F.J. van Lenthe (Frank)
textabstractAim: To describe educational inequalities in cancer survival and to what extent these can be explained by comorbidity and health behaviours (smoking, physical activity and alcohol consumption). Methods: The GLOBE study sent postal questionnaires to individuals in The Netherlands in 1991
Geoffrey H. Donovan; Yvonne L. Michael; David T. Butry; Amy D. Sullivan; John M. Chase
We read with great interest a recent Environment International articleâGreen Space, health inequality, and pregnancyâwhich explores the relationship between greenness around a mother's home, proximity to green space, and pregnancy outcomes in Barcelona (Dadvand et aI., in press). The authors were clearly unaware of a similar study that we recently published on...
A. Espelt (Albert); C. Borrell (Carme); M. Rodriguez-Sanz (Maica); C. Muntaner (Carles); M.I. Pasarin (María Isabel); J. Benach (Joan); M.M. Schaap (Maartje); A.E. Kunst (Anton); V. Navarro (Vicente)
textabstractObjective: To compare inequalities in self-perceived health in the population older than 50 years, in 2004, using Wright's social class dimensions, in nine European countries grouped in three political traditions (Social democracy, Christian democracy and Late democracies). Methods: Cros
T.A. Eikemo (Terje); C. Bambra (Clare); K. Joyce; E. Dahl
textabstractObjective: The objective of this study was to determine whether the magnitude of income-related health inequalities varies between welfare regimes (Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Bismarckian, Southern and Eastern). Specifically, it examined whether the Scandinavian welfare state regime has s
Lai, Dejian; Huang, Jin; Risser, Jan M.; Kapadia, Asha S.
In this article, we report statistical properties of two classes of generalized Gini coefficients (G1 and G2). The theoretical results were assessed via Monte Carlo simulations. Further, we used G1 and G2 on life expectancy to measure health inequalities among the provinces of China and the states of the United States. For China, the results…
Mizen Lindsay AM
Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical practice guidelines are developed to improve the quality of healthcare. However, clinical guidelines may contribute to health inequities experienced by disadvantaged groups. This study uses an equity lens developed by the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN to examine how well clinical guidelines address inequities experienced by individuals with intellectual disabilities. Methods Nine health problems relevant to the health inequities experienced by persons with intellectual disabilities were selected. Clinical guidelines on these disorders were identified from across the world. The INCLEN equity lens was used as the basis for a purpose-designed, semistructured data collection tool. Two raters independently examined each guideline and completed the data collection tool. The data extracted by each rater were discussed at a research group consensus conference and agreement was reached on a final equity lens rating for each guideline. Results Thirty-six guidelines were identified, one of which (2.8% explicitly excluded persons with intellectual disabilities. Of the remaining 35, six (17.1% met the first criterion of the equity lens, identifying persons with intellectual disabilities at high risk for the specific health problem. Eight guidelines (22.9% contained any content on intellectual disabilities. Six guidelines addressed the fourth equity lens criterion, by giving specific consideration to the barriers to implementation of the guideline in disadvantaged populations. There were no guidelines that addressed the second, third, and fifth equity lens criteria. Conclusions The equity lens is a useful tool to systematically examine whether clinical guidelines address the health needs and inequities experienced by disadvantaged groups. Clinical guidelines are likely to further widen the health inequities experienced by persons with intellectual disabilities, and other disadvantaged groups, by being
Nielsen, Line; Koushede, Vibeke; Vinther-Larsen, Mathilde
. In school classes characterised by high and moderate trust, there were no statistically significant differences in emotional symptoms between high and low socioeconomic groups. Although further studies are needed, this cross-sectional study suggests that school social capital may reduce mental health...... municipalities in Denmark. Trust in the school class was used as an indicator of school social capital. Prevalence of daily emotional symptoms in each socioeconomic group measured by parents' occupational class was calculated for each of the three categories of school classes: school classes with high trust...... students in school classes with low trust (12.9%) compared to school classes with high trust (7.2%) (p classes with low level of trust, the odds ratio for daily emotional symptoms was 1.89 (95% CI 1.25-2.86) in the low socioeconomic group compared to the high socioeconomic group...
Pine, Cynthia M; Adair, Pauline M; Nicoll, Alison D
OBJECTIVE: To undertake formative studies investigating how the experience of dental caries in young children living in diverse settings relates to familial and cultural perceptions and beliefs, oral health-related behaviour and oral microflora. PARTICIPANTS: The scientific consortium came from 27...... whether they develop caries. Further research is indicated to determine whether supporting the development of parenting skills would reduce dental caries in children from disadvantaged communities independent of ethnic origin....... sites in 17 countries, each site followed a common protocol. Each aimed to recruit 100 families with children aged 3 or 4 years, half from deprived backgrounds, and within deprived and non-deprived groups, half to be "caries-free" and half to have at least 3 decayed teeth. OUTCOME MEASURES: Parents...
The purpose of this paper is to identify the possible social inequalities in self-reported health among the Ukrainian working-age population by exploring the associations of the social determinants of health with poor self-reported health. Data for this study is derived from the European Social...... the existence of some socio-economic, employment-related inequalities, and others in self-reported health among the Ukrainian working-age population...
Backett-Milburn, Kathryn; Cunningham-Burley, Sarah; Davis, John
Children's differing socio-economic, cultural and familial circumstances and experiences are part of the pathways implicated in health and illness in adulthood. However, in the existing, mainly survey based, work children's own voices tend to be absent and adult-defined data about health and illness accumulated. Little is known about the social and cultural processes, in children's very different childhoods, which underpin and ultimately constitute these epidemiological findings. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study examining the socio-economic and cultural contexts of children's lifestyles and the production of inequalities in health, carried out in a large Scottish city. Two rounds of semi-structured interviews, using a range of child-friendly techniques (photographs, drawings, vignettes), were carried out with 35 girls and boys aged 9-12 years living in two contrasting but contiguous areas, one relatively advantaged and one relatively disadvantaged. Thirty of their parents were also interviewed and community profiling and observational work undertaken. Children and parents described often starkly contrasting lives and opportunities, regularly involving material differences. However, children appeared to locate inequalities as much in relationships and social life as in material concerns; in this their direct experiences of relationships and unfairness were central to their making sense of inequality and its impact on health. Although children from both areas highlighted several different inequalities, including those related to material resources, they also spoke of the importance of control over their life world; of care and love particularly from parents; of friendship and acceptance by their peer group. Many children challenged straightforward causal explanations for future ill-health, privileging some explanations, such as psychological or lifestyle factors. The accounts of children from both areas displayed considerable resilience to and
Raittio, Eero; Aromaa, Arpo; Kiiskinen, Urpo; Helminen, Sari; Suominen, Anna Liisa
Objectives In Finland, a dental subsidization reform, implemented in 2001-2002, abolished age restrictions on subsidized dental care. The aim of this study was to investigate income-related inequality in the perceived oral health and its determinants among adult Finns before and after the reform. Materials and methods Three identical cross-sectional nationally representative postal surveys, concerning perceived oral health and the use of dental services among people born before 1971, were conducted in 2001 (n = 2157), in 2004 (n = 1814) and in 2007 (n = 1671). Three measures of perceived oral health were used: toothache or oral discomfort during the past 12 months, current need for dental care and self-reported oral health status. Concentration index was used to analyse the income-related inequalities. Its decomposition was used to study factors related to the inequalities. Results The proportion of respondents reporting need for dental care decreased from 2001 to 2007, while no changes were seen in reports of toothache or self-reported oral health status. Income-related inequalities in reports of toothache and perceived need for care widened, while the inequality in self-reported oral health remained stable. Most of the inequalities were related to income itself, perceived general health and the time since the last visit to dental care. Conclusions It seems that the income-related inequalities in perceived oral health remained or even widened after the reform.
Davidson, Rosemary; Kitzinger, Jenny; Hunt, Kate
Research repeatedly identifies an association between health and socio-economic status-richer people are healthier than poorer people. Richard Wilkinson has posited that socio-psychological mechanisms may be part of the explanation for the fact that socio-economic inequalities run right across the social spectrum in wealthy societies. He argues that polarised income distributions within countries have a negative impact on stress, self-esteem and social relations which, in turn, impact on physical well-being. How people experience and perceive inequalities is central to his thesis. However, relatively little empirical work has explored such lay perceptions. We attempt to address this gap by exploring how people see inequality, how they theorise its impact on health, and the extent to which they make personal and social comparisons, by drawing on 14 focus group discussions in Scotland and the north of England. Contrary to other research which suggests that people from more deprived backgrounds are more reluctant to acknowledge the effects of socio-economic deprivation, our findings demonstrate that, in some contexts at least, people from less favourable circumstances converse in a way to suggest that inequalities deeply affect their health and well-being. We discuss these findings in the light of the methodological challenges presented for pursuing such research.
Gelormino, Elena; Melis, Giulia; Marietta, Cristina; Costa, Giuseppe
The Health in All Policies strategy aims to engage every policy domain in health promotion. The more socially disadvantaged groups are usually more affected by potential negative impacts of policies if they are not health oriented. The built environment represents an important policy domain and, apart from its housing component, its impact on health inequalities is seldom assessed. A scoping review of evidence on the built environment and its health equity impact was carried out, searching both urban and medical literature since 2000 analysing socio-economic inequalities in relation to different components of the built environment. The proposed explanatory framework assumes that key features of built environment (identified as density, functional mix and public spaces and services), may influence individual health through their impact on both natural environment and social context, as well as behaviours, and that these effects may be unequally distributed according to the social position of individuals. In general, the expected links proposed by the framework are well documented in the literature; however, evidence of their impact on health inequalities remains uncertain due to confounding factors, heterogeneity in study design, and difficulty to generalize evidence that is still very embedded to local contexts.
Gottfredson, Linda S
Virtually all indicators of physical health and mental competence favor persons of higher socioeconomic status (SES). Conventional theories in the social sciences assume that the material disadvantages of lower SES are primarily responsible for these inequalities, either directly or by inducing psychosocial harm. These theories cannot explain, however, why the relation between SES and health outcomes (knowledge, behavior, morbidity, and mortality) is not only remarkably general across time, place, disease, and kind of health system but also so finely graded up the entire SES continuum. Epidemiologists have therefore posited, but not yet identified, a more general "fundamental cause" of health inequalities. This article concatenates various bodies of evidence to demonstrate that differences in general intelligence (g) may be that fundamental cause.
Meskarpour-Amiri, Mohammad; Dopeykar, Nooredin; Ameryoun, Ahmad; Mehrabi Tavana, Ali
Background: Timely access to cardiovascular health services is necessary to prevent heart damages. The present study examined inequality in geographical distribution of cardiovascular health services in Iran. Methods: Present study is a cross-sectional study conducted using demographic data from all Iranian provinces (31 provinces) from 2012 census by the Statistics Center of Iran (SCI). The Gini coefficients of CCU beds and cardiologists were used to assess equality in access to cardiovascular health services in Iran. MS Excel software was used to calculate Gini coefficients. Results: The proportions of CCU bed and cardiologist per 100,000 population were 4.88 and 1.27, respectively; also the Gini coefficients were 0.129 and 0.045, respectively. Conclusion: Descriptive statistics showed a skewness in distribution of pubic cardiovascular health services in Iran, though Gini coefficient revealed no significant inequality. However, equal distribution of CCU beds and cardiovascular specialists does not mean they are sufficiently available in Iran. PMID:28210585
Aldabe, Bénédicte; Anderson, Robert; Lyly-Yrjänäinen, Maija; Parent-Thirion, Agnès; Vermeylen, Greet; Kelleher, C Cecily; Niedhammer, Isabelle
Objectives To analyse the associations between socioeconomic status (SES), measured using occupation, and self-reported health, and to examine the contribution of various material, occupational, and psychosocial factors to social inequalities in health in Europe. Methods This study was based on data from the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) carried out in 2003. The total sample consisted of 6038 and 6383 working men and women in 28 countries in Europe (response rates: 30.3–91.2%). Each set of potential material, occupational, and psychosocial mediators included between 8 and 11 variables. Statistical analysis was performed using multilevel logistic regression analysis. Results Significant social differences were observed for self-reported health, manual workers being more likely to be in poor health (OR=1.89, 95% CI: 1.46–2.46 for men, OR=2.18, 95% CI: 1.71–2.77 for women). Strong social gradients were found for almost all potential mediating factors, and almost all displayed significant associations with self-reported health. Social differences in health were substantially reduced after adjustment for material, occupational, and psychosocial factors, material factors playing a major role. The four strongest contributions to reducing these differences were found for material deprivation, social exclusion, financial problems, and job reward. Taking all mediators into account led to an explanation of the social differences in health by 78–100% for men and women. Conclusion The association between SES and poor health may be attributed to differential distributions of several dimensions of material, occupational, and psychosocial conditions across occupational groups. Interventions targeting different dimensions might result in a reduction of social inequalities in health. PMID:20584725
Chaves, Sônia Cristina Lima; Vieira-da-Silva, Lígia Maria
This study analyzed the oral health practices and access to dental care of individuals according to their position in social space. The rationale was based on the hypothesis that different positions in social space may imply different habitus, in the sense conferred by Bourdieu. Such dispositions would influence practical behavior, choices and preferences in general and in this context, dental care. Twenty-two semi-structured interviews were carried out with individuals, as part of a multiple case study carried out in two municipalities in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Differences were found between the two study groups both with respect to actions of personal care and in seeking and using dental services. This, in addition to poor material and living conditions, and difficult access to restorative dental work in the public sector, may explain part of the pattern of tooth loss found in the adult Brazilian population. The adoption of effective communicative and educational actions by health professionals should be stimulated. However, the structural dimension of the social determinants requires transformations in the structures that generate the perceptions and practices of agents. The study discusses the implications of these data to public dental policies that are focused on reducing these inequalities.
Pérez, Glòria; Gotsens, Mercè; Palència, Laia; Marí-Dell'Olmo, Marc; Domínguez-Berjón, M Felicitas; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Puig, Vanessa; Bartoll, Xavier; Gandarillas, Ana; Martín, Unai; Bacigalupe, Amaia; Díez, Elia; Ruiz, Miguel; Esnaola, Santiago; Calvo, Montserrat; Sánchez, Pablo; Luque Fernández, Miguel Ángel; Borrell, Carme
The aim is to present the protocol of the two sub-studies on the effect of the economic crisis on mortality and reproductive health and health inequalities in Spain. Substudy 1: describe the evolution of mortality and reproductive health between 1990 and 2013 through a longitudinal ecological study in the Autonomous Communities. This study will identify changes caused by the economic crisis in trends or reproductive health and mortality indicators using panel data (17 Autonomous Communities per study year) and adjusting Poisson models with random effects variance. Substudy 2: analyse inequalities by socioeconomic deprivation in mortality and reproductive health in several areas of Spain. An ecological study analysing trends in the pre-crisis (1999-2003 and 2004-2008) and crisis (2009-2013) periods will be performed. Random effects models Besag York and Mollié will be adjusted to estimate mortality indicators softened in reproductive health and census tracts.
Bertelsen, Pernille; Kanstrup, Anne Marie; Madsen, Jacob
This paper explores participatory design walks (PD walks) as a first step toward a participatory design of health information technology (HIT) aimed at tackling health inequality in a neighbourhood identified as a high-risk health area. Existing research shows that traditional methods for health promotion, such as campaigns and teaching, have little to no effect in high-risk health areas. Rather, initiatives must be locally anchored - integrated into the local culture, and based on social relationships and group activities. This paper explains how we conducted PD walks with residents and community workers in the neighbourhood and how this participatory approach supported a first step toward HIT design that tackles health inequality. This is important, as people in neighbourhoods with high health risks are not the target audience for the health technology innovation currently taking place despite the fact that this group suffers the most from health inequality and weigh most on the public healthcare services and costs. The study identifies social and cultural aspects that influence everyday health management and presents how a citizen-driven approach like PD walks, can contribute valuable insights for design of HIT. The paper provides concrete methodological recommendations on how to conduct PD walks that are valuable to HIT designers and developers who aim to do PD with neighbourhoods.
Barros, Marilisa Berti de Azevedo
This study describes the frequency and types of articles on social inequalities in health published in 50 years of the Revista de Saúde Pública, taking as reference some milestones that were used as guidelines to develop the research on this theme. Checking titles, keywords and abstracts or full texts, we identified 288 articles whose central or secondary focus was social inequalities in health. Corresponding to just 1.8% in the initial years, articles on social inequalities in health have represent 10.1% of the articles published in the last decade. The designs used were mainly cross-sectional (58.0%) and ecological (18.1%). The most analyzed themes were: food/nutrition (20.8%), mortality (13.5%), infectious diseases (10.1%), oral health (9.0%), and health services (8.7%). Articles focused on the analysis of racial inequalities in health amounted to 6.9%. Few articles monitored the trends of social inequalities in health, essential enterprise to assess and support interventions, and an even smaller number evaluated the impact of policies and programs on the reduction of social inequalities in health. RESUMO Este estudo descreve a frequência e os tipos de artigos sobre desigualdades sociais em saúde publicados nos 50 anos da Revista de Saúde Pública, tomando por referência alguns marcos que balizaram o desenvolvimento das investigações nessa temática. Checando títulos, palavras-chave e resumos ou textos completos, foram identificados 288 artigos cujo foco central ou secundário era desigualdades sociais em saúde. Correspondendo a apenas 1,8% nos anos iniciais, artigos sobre desigualdades sociais em saúde chegaram a representar 10,1% dos publicados na última década. Os desenhos utilizados foram principalmente transversais (58,0%) e ecológicos espaciais (18,1%). Os temas mais analisados foram: alimentação/nutrição (20,8%), mortalidade (13,5%), doenças infecciosas (10,1%), saúde bucal (9,0%) e serviços de saúde (8,7%). Artigos voltados à an
Full Text Available Health systems played a key role in the dramatic rise in global life expectancy that occurred during the 20th century, and have continued to contribute enormously to the improvement of the health of most of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population. The health workforce is the backbone of each health system, the lubricant that facilitates the smooth implementation of health action for sustainable socio-economic development. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the density of the health workforce is directly correlated with positive health outcomes. In other words, health workers save lives and improve health. About 59 million people make up the health workforce of paid full-time health workers world-wide. However, enormous gaps remain between the potential of health systems and their actual performance, and there are far too many inequities in the distribution of health workers between countries and within countries. The Americas (mainly USA and Canada are home to 14% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population, bear only 10% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s disease burden, have 37% of the global health workforce and spend about 50% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s financial resources for health. Conversely, sub-Saharan Africa, with about 11% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population bears over 24% of the global disease burden, is home to only 3% of the global health workforce, and spends less than 1% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s financial resources on health. In most developing countries, the health workforce is concentrated in the major towns and cities, while rural areas can only boast of about 23% and 38% of the countryÃ¢Â€Â™s doctors and nurses respectively. The imbalances exist not only in the total numbers and geographical distribution of health workers, but also in the skills mix of available health workers. WHO estimates that 57 countries world wide have a critical shortage of health workers, equivalent to a global deficit of about 2
Poder, Thomas G; He, Jie
This article seeks to understand in the ways in which income inequality can affect children's health (z-score of stunting) in Guatemala. We postulate that there are several transmission channels through which income inequality can affect health and that the children's ethnic and rural origins influence the size and direction of this effect. The methodology employed is systems of simultaneous equations (three-stage least squares and generalized method of moments). Our results highlight the importance of rural and indigenous characteristics in the relationship between income inequality and child health and indicate that the most important transmission channels are household income levels and maternal education.
Collins, Patricia A; Abelson, Julia; Eyles, John D
The objective of this study was to explore the presence of ideological barriers to addressing local health inequalities in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A survey of active citizens revealed low levels of awareness of the social determinants of health (SDOH) framework, and some incongruence between understanding and attitudes towards the SDOH. Support for addressing health inequalities was associated with awareness of the SDOH framework, liberal value-systems, and a cluster of socio-demographic characteristics. Liberal leaning participants were also more politically active than their conservative counterparts. Ideological barriers included lack of SDOH awareness, narrow understandings of the relative influences of the SDOH, resistance to de-prioritizing healthcare, and conservative values. Advancement of a SDOH policy agenda should incorporate wider dissemination efforts to citizens and local service providers to increase support for this framework, and utilization of existing support and political engagement from liberal-leaning demographics.
Vu Duy Kien
Full Text Available Background: A health system that provides equitable health care is a principal goal in many countries. Measuring horizontal inequity (HI in health care utilization is important to develop appropriate and equitable public policies, especially policies related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs. Design: A cross-sectional survey of 1,211 randomly selected households in slum and non-slum areas was carried out in four urban districts of Hanoi city in 2013. This study utilized data from 3,736 individuals aged 15 years and older. Respondents were asked about health care use during the previous 12 months; information included sex, age, and self-reported NCDs. We assessed the extent of inequity in utilization of public health care services. Concentration indexes for health care utilization and health care needs were constructed via probit regression of individual utilization of public health care services, controlling for age, sex, and NCDs. In addition, concentration indexes were decomposed to identify factors contributing to inequalities in health care utilization. Results: The proportion of healthcare utilization in the slum and non-slum areas was 21.4 and 26.9%, respectively. HI in health care utilization in favor of the rich was observed in the slum areas, whereas horizontal equity was achieved among the non-slum areas. In the slum areas, we identified some key factors that affect the utilization of public health care services. Conclusion: Our results suggest that to achieve horizontal equity in utilization of public health care services, policy should target preventive interventions for NCDs, focusing more on the poor in slum areas.
A systems approach offers a novel conceptualization to natural and social systems. In recent years, this has led to perceiving population health outcomes as an emergent property of a dynamic and open, complex adaptive system. The current paper explores these themes further and applies the principles of systems approach and complexity science (i.e. systems science) to conceptualize social determinants of health inequalities. The conceptualization can be done in two steps: viewing health inequalities from a systems approach and extending it to include complexity science. Systems approach views health inequalities as patterns within the larger rubric of other facets of the human condition, such as educational outcomes and economic development. This anlysis requires more sophisticated models such as systems dynamic models. An extension of the approach is to view systems as complex adaptive systems, i.e. systems that are 'open' and adapt to the environment. They consist of dynamic adapting subsystems that exhibit non-linear interactions, while being 'open' to a similarly dynamic environment of interconnected systems. They exhibit emergent properties that cannot be estimated with precision by using the known interactions among its components (such as economic development, political freedom, health system, culture etc.). Different combinations of the same bundle of factors or determinants give rise to similar patterns or outcomes (i.e. property of convergence), and minor variations in the initial condition could give rise to widely divergent outcomes. Novel approaches using computer simulation models (e.g. agent-based models) would shed light on possible mechanisms as to how factors or determinants interact and lead to emergent patterns of health inequalities of populations.
Mithen, Johanna; Aitken, Zoe; Ziersch, Anne; Kavanagh, Anne M
The poor mental and physical health of people with disabilities has been well documented and there is evidence to suggest that inequalities in health between people with and without disabilities may be at least partly explained by the socioeconomic disadvantage (e.g. low education, unemployment) experienced by people with disabilities. Although there are fewer studies documenting inequalities in social capital, the evidence suggests that people with disabilities are also disadvantaged in this regard. We drew on Bourdieu's conceptualisation of social capital as the resources that flow to individuals from their membership of social networks. Using data from the General Social Survey 2010 of 15,028 adults living in private dwellings across non-remote areas of Australia, we measured social capital across three domains: informal networks (contact with family and friends); formal networks (group membership and contacts in influential organisations) and social support (financial, practical and emotional). We compared levels of social capital and self-rated health for people with and without disabilities and for people with different types of impairments (sensory and speech, physical, psychological and intellectual). Further, we assessed whether differences in levels of social capital contributed to inequalities in health between people with and without disabilities. We found that people with disabilities were worse off than people without disabilities in regard to informal and formal networks, social support and self-rated health status, and that inequalities were greatest for people with intellectual and psychological impairments. Differences in social capital did not explain the association between disability and health. These findings underscore the importance of developing social policies which promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, according to the varying needs of people with different impairments types. Given the changing policy environment, ongoing
Palència, Laia; Malmusi, Davide; De Moortel, Deborah; Artazcoz, Lucía; Backhans, Mona; Vanroelen, Christophe; Borrell, Carme
Few studies have addressed the effect of gender policies on women's health and gender inequalities in health. This study aims to analyse the relationship between the orientation of public gender equality policies and gender inequalities in health in European countries, and whether this relationship is mediated by gender equality at country level or by other individual social determinants of health. A multilevel cross-sectional study was performed using individual-level data extracted from the European Social Survey 2010. The study sample consisted of 23,782 men and 28,655 women from 26 European countries. The dependent variable was self-perceived health. Individual independent variables were gender, age, immigrant status, educational level, partner status and employment status. The main contextual independent variable was a modification of Korpi's typology of family policy models (Dual-earner, Traditional-Central, Traditional-Southern, Market-oriented and Contradictory). Other contextual variables were the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), to measure country-level gender equality, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For each country and country typology the prevalence of fair/poor health by gender was calculated and prevalence ratios (PR, women compared to men) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Multilevel robust Poisson regression models were fitted. Women had poorer self-perceived health than men in countries with traditional family policies (PR = 1.13, 95%CI: 1.07-1.21 in Traditional-Central and PR = 1.27, 95%CI: 1.19-1.35 in Traditional-Southern) and in Contradictory countries (PR = 1.08, 95%CI: 1.05-1.11). In multilevel models, only gender inequalities in Traditional-Southern countries were significantly higher than those in Dual-earner countries. Gender inequalities in self-perceived health were higher, women reporting worse self-perceived health than men, in countries with family policies that were less oriented to gender equality
Meier, Petra S; Holmes, John; Angus, Colin; Ally, Abdallah K; Meng, Yang; Brennan, Alan
While evidence that alcohol pricing policies reduce alcohol-related health harm is robust, and alcohol taxation increases are a WHO "best buy" intervention, there is a lack of research comparing the scale and distribution across society of health impacts arising from alternative tax and price policy options. The aim of this study is to test whether four common alcohol taxation and pricing strategies differ in their impact on health inequalities. An econometric epidemiological model was built with England 2014/2015 as the setting. Four pricing strategies implemented on top of the current tax were equalised to give the same 4.3% population-wide reduction in total alcohol-related mortality: current tax increase, a 13.4% all-product duty increase under the current UK system; a value-based tax, a 4.0% ad valorem tax based on product price; a strength-based tax, a volumetric tax of £0.22 per UK alcohol unit (= 8 g of ethanol); and minimum unit pricing, a minimum price threshold of £0.50 per unit, below which alcohol cannot be sold. Model inputs were calculated by combining data from representative household surveys on alcohol purchasing and consumption, administrative and healthcare data on 43 alcohol-attributable diseases, and published price elasticities and relative risk functions. Outcomes were annual per capita consumption, consumer spending, and alcohol-related deaths. Uncertainty was assessed via partial probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) and scenario analysis. The pricing strategies differ as to how effects are distributed across the population, and, from a public health perspective, heavy drinkers in routine/manual occupations are a key group as they are at greatest risk of health harm from their drinking. Strength-based taxation and minimum unit pricing would have greater effects on mortality among drinkers in routine/manual occupations (particularly for heavy drinkers, where the estimated policy effects on mortality rates are as follows: current tax
Olafsdottir, Sigrun; Bakhtiari, Elyas; Barman, Emily
Social scientists have long recognized that macro-level factors have the potential to shape the health of populations and individuals. Along these lines, they have theorized about the role of the welfare state in creating more equal opportunities and outcomes and how this intervention may benefit health. More recently, scholars and policymakers alike have pointed out how the involvement of civil society actors may replace or complement any state effort. Using data from the World Values Surveys and the European Values Study, combined with national-level indicators for welfare state and civil society involvement, we test the impact of each sector on health and health inequalities in 25 countries around the world. We find that both have a statistically significant effect on overall health, but the civil society sector may have a greater independent influence in societies with weaker welfare states. The health inequalities results are less conclusive, but suggest a strong civil society may be particularly beneficial to vulnerable populations, such as the low income and unemployed. Our paper represents an early step in providing empirical evidence for the impact of the welfare state and civil society on health and health inequalities.
Gender is a key factor operating in the health workforce. Recent research evidence points to systemic gender discrimination and inequalities in health pre-service and in-service education and employment systems. Human resources for health (HRH) leaders' and researchers' lack of concerted attention to these inequalities is striking, given the recognition of other forms of discrimination in international labour rights and employment law discourse. If not acted upon, gender discrimination and inequalities result in systems inefficiencies that impede the development of the robust workforces needed to respond to today's critical health care needs.This commentary makes the case that there is a clear need for sex- and age-disaggregated and qualitative data to more precisely illuminate gender-related trends and dynamics in the health workforce. Because of their importance for measurement, the paper also presents definitions and examples of sex or gender discrimination and offers specific case examples.At a broader level, the commentary argues that gender equality should be an HRH research, leadership, and governance priority, where the aim is to strengthen health pre-service and continuing professional education and employment systems to achieve better health systems outcomes, including better health coverage. Good HRH leadership, governance, and management involve recognizing the diversity of health workforces, acknowledging gender constraints and opportunities, eliminating gender discrimination and equalizing opportunity, making health systems responsive to life course events, and protecting health workers' labour rights at all levels. A number of global, national and institution-level actions are proposed to move the gender equality and HRH agendas forward.
Sabel, Clive E; Hiscock, Rosemary; Asikainen, Arja;
Background: Climate change is a global threat to health and wellbeing. Here we provide findings of an international research project investigating the health and wellbeing impacts of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in urban environments. Methods: Five European and two Chinese city...... authorities and partner academic organisations formed the project consortium. The methodology involved modelling the impact of adopted urban climate-change mitigation transport, buildings and energy policy scenarios, usually for the year 2020 and comparing them with business as usual (BAU) scenarios (where...... policies had not been adopted). Carbon dioxide emissions, health impacting exposures (air pollution, noise and physical activity), health (cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer and leukaemia) and wellbeing (including noise related wellbeing, overall wellbeing, economic wellbeing and inequalities) were...
Staats, Susan; Robertson, Douglas
The Millennium Project is an international effort to improve the health, economic status, and environmental resources of the world's most vulnerable people. Using data associated with the Millennium Project, students use algebra to explore international development issues including poverty reduction and the relationship between health and economy.…
Song, Lijun; Lin, Nan
Does social capital, resources embedded in social relationships, influence health? This research examines whether social capital impacts depressive symptoms and overall perceived health status over and above the effects of social support. Our analyses use unique data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey collected in 1997, and measures social…
Song, Lijun; Lin, Nan
Does social capital, resources embedded in social relationships, influence health? This research examines whether social capital impacts depressive symptoms and overall perceived health status over and above the effects of social support. Our analyses use unique data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey collected in 1997, and measures social…
Hernandez, Virginia Rondero; Montana, Salvador; Clarke, Kris
Numerous studies acknowledge that the well-being of our nation hinges on the health of its people. There is specific concern about children because they represent the future. Ignoring children's health needs can compromise their educational preparedness, occupational pursuits, productivity, and longevity. Current science demonstrates that…
This study aimed to evaluate whether social capital could alleviate health inequality against racial discrimination and identify the critical nature of social capital that generates health inequality differences within the social context of South Korea. Using the data of the 2009 National Survey of Multicultural Families, a nationally representative sample in which 40,430 foreign wives participated, the concentration index (CI) was used to measure the discrimination-related inequalities in self-rated health and was decomposed into contributing factors. The results showed a significant concentration of poor self-rated health unfavorable to foreign wives who were highly discriminated (CI 0.023, standard error [SE] 0.001, p social capital, no discrimination-related inequality in health was observed among the group of linking social capital (CI 0.008, SE 0.008, p .332). The total differential decomposition method showed two major factors that generate differences in health inequality between the groups of non-linking and linking social capital: protest against discrimination (35.8 %); experiences of discrimination (28.3 %). The present results indicated that linking social capital can be a useful resource of health resilience factor that equalizes discrimination-related health inequality among marriage migrant women in South Korea. This study provides additional evidence that social capital needs to be placed in its political context.
Ritsatakis, Anna; Ostergren, Per-Olof; Webster, Premila
The WHO European Healthy Cities Network has from its inception aimed at tackling inequalities in health. In carrying out an evaluation of Phase V of the project (2009-13), an attempt was made to examine how far the concept of equity in health is understood and accepted; whether cities had moved further from a disease/medical model to looking at the social determinants of inequalities in health; how far the HC project contributed to cities determining the extent and causes of inequalities in health; what efforts were made to tackle such inequalities and how far inequalities in health may have increased or decreased during Phase V. A broader range of resources was utilized for this evaluation than in previous phases of the project. These indicated that most cities were definitely looking at the broader determinants. Equality in health was better understood and had been included as a value in a range of city policies. This was facilitated by stronger involvement of the HC project in city planning processes. Although almost half the cities participating had prepared a City Health Profile, only few cities had the necessary local level data to monitor changes in inequalities in health.
Full Text Available The influence of contextual factors on individual health status has been demonstrated by a number of studies even when controlling for the individual socio-economic situation (and other relevant factors. The article examines whether and to what extent variables of the place of residence have an effect on individual health status. We do not only refer to income levels and inequality, but also to effects of the educational level and inequality and the regional unemployment rate. As data basis for the individual level, we use the 2006 wave of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP and add regional information on the aggregate level based on the regional units (Raumordnungsregionen of the Microcensus of 2005. These data will be analysed using multilevel models. The results reveal that regional educational inequality intensifies the individual educational effect, whereby members of less-educated groups in educationally disparate regions exhibit particularly low health chances. In addition, a high regional unemployment rate intensifies the negative effect of individual unemployment on men’s health.
Norheim, Ole Frithjof; Asada, Yukiko
The past decade witnessed great progress in research on health inequities. The most widely cited definition of health inequity is, arguably, the one proposed by Whitehead and Dahlgren: "Health inequalities that are avoidable, unnecessary, and unfair are unjust." We argue that this definition is useful but in need of further clarification because it is not linked to broader theories of justice. We propose an alternative, pluralist notion of fair distribution of health that is compatible with several theories of distributive justice. Our proposed view consists of the weak principle of health equality and the principle of fair trade-offs. The weak principle of health equality offers an alternative definition of health equity to those proposed in the past. It maintains the all-encompassing nature of the popular Whitehead/Dahlgren definition of health equity, and at the same time offers a richer philosophical foundation. This principle states that every person or group should have equal health except when: (a) health equality is only possible by making someone less healthy, or (b) there are technological limitations on further health improvement. In short, health inequalities that are amenable to positive human intervention are unfair. The principle of fair trade-offs states that weak equality of health is morally objectionable if and only if: (c) further reduction of weak inequality leads to unacceptable sacrifices of average or overall health of the population, or (d) further reduction in weak health inequality would result in unacceptable sacrifices of other important goods, such as education, employment, and social security.
Llovet, Ignacio; Dinardi, Graciela; De Maio, Fernando G
Chagas disease (CD) causes 12,500 deaths annually in Latin America. As a neglected disease primarily associated with poverty, it is a major driver of health inequity. Argentina's efforts to control vector transmission have been unsuccessful. Using new survey data (n=400 households), we compare the social patterning of the burden of CD by examining socio-demographic predictors of self-reported CD and the presence of vinchucas in two areas of rural northern Argentina known to have experienced different interventions in surveillance and control. Our analyses suggest that Avellaneda, an area known for horizontal intervention strategies which nurture community participation is quite distinct from Silipica, an area which has experienced a vertical intervention strategy since 1990. Avellaneda has higher level of self-reported Chagas infection and lower level of vinchuca presence; Silipica has pronounced and statistically significant differences patterned by the head of household's level of educational attainment. A greater awareness of the disease and its transmission, along with community mobilisation and spraying, may bring about more self-reported CD and less vinchuca presence in Avellaneda than in Silipica. This suggests that strategies based on community participation may be effective in reducing the social patterning of the burden of disease, even in poor places.
Currie, Candace; Molcho, Michal; Boyce, William
Socioeconomic inequalities in adolescent health have been little studied until recently, partly due to the lack of appropriate and agreed upon measures for this age group. The difficulties of measuring adolescent socioeconomic status (SES) are both conceptual and methodological. Conceptually......, it is unclear whether parental SES should be used as a proxy, and if so, which aspect of SES is most relevant. Methodologically, parental SES information is difficult to obtain from adolescents resulting in high levels of missing data. These issues led to the development of a new measure, the Family Affluence...... Scale (FAS), in the context of an international study on adolescent health, the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Study. The paper reviews the evolution of the measure over the past 10 years and its utility in examining and explaining health related inequalities at national and cross...
Sahn, David E; Younger, Stephen D
This paper examines the relationship between level of well-being and inequality at inter-country and intra-household levels, using individuals' body mass index (BMI) rather than income as the indicator of well-being. BMI is useful for these purposes because (1) it is measured at the individual rather than household level; (2) it reflects command over food, but also non-food resources that affect health status like sanitary conditions and labour-saving technologies; (3) it accounts for caloric consumption relative to needs; (4) it is easily measured; and (5) any measurement error is likely to be random. We do not find any evidence to support the idea of an intra-household or inter-country Kuznets curve. We study the correlations between average household well-being, still measured by BMI, and differences in the BMIs of males and females, parents and children. Here, we find a tendency to protect the BMI of young children when living standards are very low. We find no clear patterns by gender. Perhaps the most striking finding in the paper is that about half of total BMI inequality at the country level is within households. Thus, standard measures of inequality that use household-level data may drastically understate true inequality.
Erreygers, Guido; Van Ourti, Tom
The tools to be used and other choices to be made when measuring socioeconomic inequalities with rank-dependent inequality indices have recently been debated in this journal. This paper adds to this debate by stressing the importance of the measurement scale, by providing formal proofs of several issues in the debate, and by lifting the curtain on the confusing debate between adherents of absolute versus relative health differences. We end this paper with a 'matrix' that provides guidelines on the usefulness of several rank-dependent inequality indices under varying circumstances. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Prevailing sociopolitical and economic obstacles have been implicated in the inadequate utilization and delivery of the Armenian health care system. Methods A random survey of 1,000 local residents, from all administrative regions of Armenia, concerned with health care services cost and satisfaction was conducted. Participation in the survey was voluntary and the information was collected using anonymous telephone interviews. Results The utilization of health care services was low, particularly in rural areas. This under-utilization of services correlated with low income of the population surveyed. The state funded health care services are inadequate to ensure availability of free-of-charge services even to economically disadvantaged groups. Continued reliance on direct out-of pocket and illicit payments, for medical services, are serious issues which plague healthcare, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors of Armenia. Conclusions Restructuring of the health care system to implement a cost-effective approach to the prevention and treatment of diseases, especially disproportionately affect the poor, should be undertaken. Public payments, increasing the amount of subsidies for poor and lower income groups through a compulsory health insurance system should be evaluated and included as appropriate in this health system redesign. Current medical services reimbursement practices undermine the principle of equity in financing and access. Measures designed to improve healthcare access and affordability for poor and disadvantaged households should be enacted.
At the end of the first decade of the present century debates arose in social epidemiology. These debates set those who defend the existence of a relation between the political and/or welfare stage regime and the magnitude of socioeconomic inequalities in health against those who maintain the facts do not support such a relation. These debates are similar to other debates in epidemiology in the 1990s related with theories of how diseases are produced and the factors that determine their distribution in the population. Whereas some authors find it impossible to separate ethical and political aspects and professional values from scientific arguments, others consider that epidemiologists and other scientists should make an effort to distinguish between scientific and unscientific considerations. In this paper the author reflects about the harmony that keep science, politics and ethics in the scientific practice on health inequalities, although the empirical evidence is contrary to that harmonious effect.
Clouston, Sean A P; Richards, Marcus; Cadar, Dorina; Hofer, Scott M
Education is a fundamental cause of social inequalities in health because it influences the distribution of resources, including money, knowledge, power, prestige, and beneficial social connections, that can be used in situ to influence health. Recent studies have highlighted early-life cognition as commonly indicating the propensity for educational attainment and determining health and age of mortality. Health behaviors provide a plausible mechanism linking both education and cognition to later-life health and mortality. We examine the role of education and cognition in predicting smoking, heavy drinking, and physical inactivity at midlife using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 10,317), National Survey of Health and Development (N = 5,362), and National Childhood Development Study (N = 16,782). Adolescent cognition was associated with education but was inconsistently associated with health behaviors. Education, however, was robustly associated with improved health behaviors after adjusting for cognition. Analyses highlight structural inequalities over individual capabilities when studying health behaviors. © American Sociological Association 2015.
There has been an attention to inequality as a causal factor for deficient health in the medical journals over the last decades (Richard G. Wilkinson et al. and Schnell et al.); however, the reasons for inequality and the interactions of the underlying causes of inequality at the level of the world economy have not yet been properly explored in this kind of literature. The aim of this article is to provide a new, globalization-oriented, multi-disciplinary perspective on life expectancy, under-five mortality, inequality and socio-economic development in the world system, compatible with the advances in international sociological research on the subject over the last three decades. Taking up the traditions of quantitative sociology to study the effects of multinational corporation (MNC) penetration as a key determining variable for development outcomes such as socio-economic inequality and infant mortality, this article analyzes from the perspective of quantitative political science and economics this particular role of MNC penetration as the key variable for the determination of health, inequality and socio-economic development in 183 countries of the world system, using international social science standard data. As correctly predicted by quantitative sociology, but largely overlooked by the medical profession, the development style, implied by a high MNC penetration of their host countries, reflects the oligopolistic power, which transnational corporations wield over local economies. We took up an idea from Austro-American economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), which states that the long-term effects of oligopolistic power are negative and lead toward economic and social stagnation. Our data show that although MNC penetration indeed led to certain short-term growth effects after 1990, today, social polarization and stagnation increase as a consequence of the development model, based on high MNC penetration. There is a negative trade-off between MNC
Cushing, Lara; Morello-Frosch, Rachel; Wander, Madeline; Pastor, Manuel
A growing body of literature suggests that more unequal societies have more polluted and degraded environments, perhaps helping explain why more unequal societies are often less healthy. We summarize the mechanisms by which inequality can lead to environmental degradation and their relevance for public health. We review the evidence of a relationship between environmental quality and social inequality along the axes of income, wealth, political power, and race and ethnicity. Our review suggests that the evidence is strongest for air- and water-quality measures that have more immediate health implications; evidence is less strong for more dispersed pollutants that have longer-term health impacts. More attention should be paid in research and in practice to links among inequality, the environment, and health, including more within-country studies that may elucidate causal pathways and points of intervention. We synthesize common metrics of inequality and methodological considerations in an effort to bring cohesion to such efforts.
Whitehead, M; Burström, B; Diderichsen, Finn
show that the health of lone mothers is poor in Sweden as well as in Britain and, most notably, that the magnitude of the differential between lone and couple mothers is of a similar order in Sweden as in Britain. This is despite the more favourable social policies in Sweden, which our results indicate...... have protected lone mothers from poverty and insecurity in the labour market to a much greater degree than the equivalent British policies over the 1980s and 1990s. Second, the pathways leading to the observed health disadvantage of lone mothers appear to be very different in the two countries...... in relation to the identified policy entry points. Overall, in Britain, around 50% of the health disadvantage of lone mothers is accounted for by the mediating factors of poverty and joblessness, whereas in Sweden these factors only account for between 3% and 13% of the health gap. The final section discusses...
The present study examines how growing socio-economic inequalities in transitional countries that have followed different health policy paths affect women's access to reproductive health care. I conducted surveys in Kazakhstan and Belarus and used logistic regression analyses to determine accessibility to and satisfaction with reproductive health services, reproductive status, and reproductive history based on country of residence. By all measures, access to reproductive health services was most problematic for the low-income women in Kazakhstan but to a significantly lesser extent for economically disadvantaged respondents in Belarus. Differences in education had a significant effect on women's access to reproductive health services in Kazakhstan but were not present in Belarus. Household income was the most powerful predictor of self-perceived health in Kazakhstan, but not in Belarus. The unreformed health-care system in Belarus appears to be more accessible for all women than Kazakhstan's health-care system that underwent significant market-oriented reform.
Romuladus E. Azuine, DrPH, RN
Full Text Available One year after the birth of the International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA, we continue to share the passion to document, and shine the light on the myriads of global health issues that debilitate developing countries.Although the focus of IJMA is on the social determinants of health and disease as well as on the disparities in the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases affecting infants, children, women, adults, and families in developing countries, we would like to encourage our fellow researchers and policy makers in both the developing and developed countries to consider submitting work that examines cross-national variations in heath and social inequalities.Such a global focus allows us to identify and understand social, structural, developmental, and health policy determinants underlying health inequalities between nations.Global assessment of health and socioeconomic patterns reaffirms the role of broader societal-level factors such as human development, gender inequality, gross national product, income inequality, and healthcare infrastructure as the fundamental determinants of health inequalities between nations.This is also confirmed by our analysis of the WHO data that shows a strong negative association between levels of human development and infant and maternal mortality rates.Focusing on socioeconomic, demographic, and geographical inequalities within a developing country, on the other hand, should give us a sense of how big the problem of health inequity is within its own borders.Such an assessment, then, could lead to development of policy solutions to tackle health inequalities that are unique to that country.
Recent efforts to characterize integration policy towards immigrants and to compare immigrants' health across countries have rarely been combined so far. This study explores the relationship of country-level integration policy with immigrants' health status in Europe. Cross-sectional study with data from the 2011 European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions. Fourteen countries were grouped according to a typology of integration policies based on the Migrant Integration Policy Index: 'multicultural' (highest scores: UK, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Finland), 'exclusionist' (lowest scores: Austria, Denmark) and 'assimilationist' (high or low depending on the dimension: France, Switzerland, Luxembourg). People born in the country (natives, n = 177 300) or outside the European Union with >10 years of residence (immigrants, n = 7088) were included. Prevalence ratios (PR) of fair/poor self-rated health between immigrants in each country cluster, and for immigrants versus natives within each, were computed adjusting by age, education, occupation and socio-economic conditions. Compared with multicultural countries, immigrants report worse health in exclusionist countries (age-adjusted PR, 95% CI: men 1.78, 1.49-2.12; women 1.58, 1.37-1.82; fully adjusted, men 1.78, 1.50-2.11; women 1.47, 1.26-1.70) and assimilationist countries (age-adjusted, men 1.21, 1.03-1.41; women 1.21, 1.06-1.39; fully adjusted, men 1.19, 1.02-1.40; women 1.22, 1.07-1.40). Health inequalities between immigrants and natives were also highest in exclusionist countries, where they persisted even after adjusting for differences in socio-economic situation. Immigrants in 'exclusionist' countries experience poorer socio-economic and health outcomes. Future studies should confirm whether and how integration policy models could make a difference on migrants' health. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health
Ishikawa, Yoshiki; Kondo, Naoki; Kawachi, Ichiro; Viswanath, Kasisomayajula
Communication inequality has been offered as one potential mechanism through which social determinants influence multiple health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying mechanisms between communication inequality and health behaviors. Data from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 18,426 people aged 18 years and above in the United States were used for secondary analysis. Measures included socio-demographic characteristics, social participation (structural social capital), health media use (TV, print, and the Internet), and five health behaviors (physical activity, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and intake of fruit and vegetable). Path analysis was performed to examine the linkages between social determinants, health media use, social participation, and social gradients in health behaviors. Path analysis revealed that socioeconomic gradients in health behaviors is mediated by: 1) inequalities in health media use; 2) disparities in social participation, which leads to differential media use; and 3) disparities in social participation that are not mediated by media use. Consistent with the theory of communication inequality, socioeconomic disparities in media use partially mediate disparities in multiple health behaviors. To address health inequalities, it is important to utilize health media to target populations with low socioeconomic statuses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Introduction Mexico faces important problems concerning income and health inequity. Mexico’s national public agenda prioritizes remedying current inequities between its indigenous and non-indigenous population groups. This study explores the changes in social inequalities among Mexico’s indigenous and non-indigenous populations for the time period 2000 to 2010 using routinely collected poverty, welfare and health indicator data. Methods We described changes in socioeconomic indicators (housing condition), poverty (Foster-Greer-Thorbecke and Sen-Shorrocks-Sen indexes), health indicators (childhood stunting and infant mortality) using diverse sources of nationally representative data. Results This analysis provides consistent evidence of disparities in the Mexican indigenous population regarding both basic and crucial developmental indicators. Although developmental indicators have improved among the indigenous population, when we compare indigenous and non-indigenous people, the gap in socio-economic and developmental indicators persists. Conclusions Despite a decade of efforts to promote public programs, poverty persists and is a particular burden for indigenous populations within Mexican society. In light of the results, it would be advisable to review public policy and to specifically target future policy to the needs of the indigenous population. PMID:24576113
Chandrashekhar T Sreeramareddy
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Inequalities in progress towards achievement of Millennium Development Goal four (MDG-4 reflect unequal access to child health services. OBJECTIVE: To examine the time trends, socio-economic and regional inequalities of under-five mortality rate (U5MR in Nepal. METHODS: We analyzed the data from complete birth histories of four Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS done in the years 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. For each livebirth, we computed survival period from birth until either fifth birthday or the survey date. Using direct methods i.e. by constructing life tables, we calculated yearly U5MRs from 1991 to 2010. Projections were made for the years 2011 to 2015. For each NDHS, U5MRs were calculated according to child's sex, mother's education, household wealth index, rural/urban residence, development regions and ecological zones. Inequalities were calculated as rate difference, rate ratio, population attributable risk and hazard ratio. RESULTS: Yearly U5MR (per 1000 live births had decreased from 157.3 (95% CIs 178.0-138.9 in 1991 to 43.2 (95% CIs 59.1-31.5 in 2010 i.e. 114.1 reduction in absolute risk. Projected U5MR for the year 2015 was 54.33. U5MRs had decreased in absolute terms in all sub groups but relative inequalities had reduced for gender and rural/urban residence only. Wide inequalities existed by wealth and education and increased between 1996 and 2011. For lowest wealth quintile (as compared to highest quintile hazard ratio (HR increased from 1.37 (95% CIs 1.27, 1.49 to 2.54 ( 95% CIs 2.25, 2.86 and for mothers having no education (as compared to higher education HR increased from 2.55 (95% CIs 1.95, 3.33 to 3.75 (95% CIs 3.17, 4.44. Changes in regional inequities were marginal and irregular. CONCLUSIONS: Nepal is most likely to achieve MDG-4 but eductional and wealth inequalities may widen further. National health policies should address to reduce inequalities in U5MR through 'inclusive policies'.
Härkönen, Juho; Kaymakçalan, Hande; Mäki, Pirjo; Taanila, Anja
In this article, we study the effects of prenatal health on educational attainment and on the reproduction of family background inequalities in education. Using Finnish birth cohort data, we analyze several maternal and fetal health variables, many of which have not been featured in the literature on long-term socioeconomic effects of health despite the effects of these variables on birth and short-term health outcomes. We find strong negative effects of mother's prenatal smoking on educational attainment, which are stronger if the mother smoked heavily but are not significant if she quit during the first trimester. Anemia during pregnancy is also associated with lower levels of attained education. Other indicators of prenatal health (pre-pregnancy obesity, mother's antenatal depressed mood, hypertension and preeclampsia, early prenatal care visits, premature birth, and small size for gestational age) do not predict educational attainment. Our measures explain little of the educational inequalities by parents' class or education. However, smoking explains 12%-and all health variables together, 19%-of the lower educational attainment of children born to unmarried mothers. Our findings point to the usefulness of proximate health measures in addition to general ones. They also point to the potentially important role played by early health in intergenerational processes.
Global disparities in health among rich and poor nations have been well documented. Health disparities are even worse for women in resource-poor countries than for men. Obstacles to women's health and access to health services include deeply rooted customs or cultural norms, including religious teachings and practices; ideological and political factors; poor health infrastructure; and discriminatory laws or failure to enforce laws designed to protect the rights of women. The most striking inequalities exist in the area of reproductive and sexual health. The situation is worse in those parts of the world in which women are systematically oppressed, have few civil rights, or are in such dire poverty that they are unable to afford preventive and therapeutic services that are otherwise available to women of greater means even in their own countries. These gender inequalities can be remedied, in part, by economic development that would improve women's access to prenatal care and skilled maternity services. In large measure, however, significant improvement in women's health, especially reproductive and sexual health, will only come about with a change in cultural attitudes and practices, in addition to legal reforms and better enforcement of existing human rights provisions.
Ortega, Bienvenido; Sanjuán, Jesús; Casquero, Antonio
The main aim of this article was to analyze the relationship of income inequality and government effectiveness with differences in efficiency in the use of health inputs to improve the under-five survival rate (U5SR) in developing countries. Robust Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and regression analysis were conducted using data for 47 developing countries for the periods 2000-2004, 2005-2009, and 2010-2012. The estimations show that countries with a more equal income distribution and better government effectiveness (i.e. a more competent bureaucracy and good quality public service delivery) may need fewer health inputs to achieve a specific level of the U5SR than other countries with higher inequality and worse government effectiveness.
Kousoulis, Antonis A; Ioakeim-Ioannidou, Myrsini; Economopoulos, Konstantinos P
Eastern Greek islands have been direct passageways of (mainly Syrian) refugees to the European continent over the past year. However, basic medical care has been insufficient. Despite calls for reform, the Greek healthcare system has for many years been costly and dysfunctional, lacking universal equity of access. Thus, mainly volunteers look after the refugee camps in the Greek islands under adverse conditions. Communicable diseases, trauma related injuries and mental health problems are the most common issues facing the refugees. The rapid changes in the epidemiology of multiple conditions that are seen in countries with high immigration rates, like Greece, demand pragmatic solutions. Best available knowledge should be used in delivering health interventions. So far, Greece is failed by international aid, and cross-border policies have not effectively tackled underlying reasons for ill-health in this context, like poverty, conflict and equity of access.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: People with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD are particularly vulnerable to socioeconomic inequality due to their long-term expensive health needs. This study aimed to assess socioeconomic-related inequality in health service utilization among NCD patients in China and to analyze factors associated with this disparity. METHODS: Data were taken from the 2008 Chinese National Health Survey, in which a multiple stage stratified random sampling method was employed to survey 56,456 households. We analyzed the distribution of actual use, need-expected use, and need-standardized usage of outpatient services (over a two-week period and inpatient services (over one-year across different income groups in 27,233 adult respondents who reported as having a NCD. We used a concentration index to measure inequality in the distribution of health services, which was expressed as HI (Horizontal Inequity Index for need-standardized use of services. A non-linear probit regression model was employed to detect inequality across socio-economic groups. RESULTS: Pro-rich inequity in health services among NCD patients was more substantial than the average population. A higher degree of pro-rich inequity (HI = 0.253 was found in inpatient services compared to outpatient services (HI = 0.089. Despite a greater need for health services amongst those of lower socio-economic status, their actual use is much less than their more affluent counterparts. Health service underuse by the poor and overuse by the affluent are evident. Household income disparity was the greatest inequality factor in NCD service use for both outpatients (71.3% and inpatients (108%, more so than health insurance policies. Some medical insurance schemes, such as the MIUE, actually made a pro-rich contribution to health service inequality (16.1% for outpatient and 12.1% for inpatient. CONCLUSIONS: Inequality in health services amongst NCD patients in China remains largely
S.H. Bouthoorn (Selma)
markdownabstract__Abstract__ Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide and has become a major public health concern.1 Globally, the number of people dying from CVD has been estimated to increase from more than 17 million in 2008, representing 30%
Full Text Available Chile, a South American country recently defined as a high-income nation, carried out a major healthcare system reform from 2005 onwards that aimed at reducing socioeconomic inequality in health. This study aimed to estimate income-related inequality in self-reported health status (SRHS in 2000 and 2013, before and after the reform, for the entire adult Chilean population.Using data on equivalized household income and adult SRHS from the 2000 and 2013 CASEN surveys (independent samples of 101 046 and 172 330 adult participants, respectively we estimated Erreygers concentration indices (CIs for above average SRHS for both years. We also decomposed the contribution of both "legitimate" standardizing variables (age and sex and "illegitimate" variables (income, education, occupation, ethnicity, urban/rural, marital status, number of people living in the household, and healthcare entitlement.There was a significant concentration of above average SRHS favoring richer people in Chile in both years, which was less pronounced in 2013 than 2000 (Erreygers corrected CI 0.165 [Standard Error, SE 0.007] in 2000 and 0.047 [SE 0.008] in 2013. To help interpret the magnitude of this decline, adults in the richest fifth of households were 33% more likely than those in the poorest fifth to report above-average health in 2000, falling to 11% in 2013. In 2013, the contribution of illegitimate factors to income-related inequality in SRHS remained higher than the contribution of legitimate factors.Income-related inequality in SRHS in Chile has fallen after the equity-based healthcare reform. Further research is needed to ascertain how far this fall in health inequality can be attributed to the 2005 healthcare reform as opposed to economic growth and other determinants of health that changed during the period.
Parish, Susan L; Rose, Roderick A; Dababnah, Sarah; Yoo, Joan; Cassiman, Shawn A
Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that income inequality within a nation influences health outcomes net of the effect of any given household's absolute income. We tested the hypothesis that state-level income inequality in the United States is associated with increased family burden for care and health-related expenditures for low-income families of children with special health care needs. We analyzed the 2005-06 wave of the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, a probability sample of approximately 750 children with special health care needs in each state and the District of Columbia in the US Our measure of state-level income inequality was the Gini coefficient. Dependent measures of family caregiving burden included whether the parent received help arranging or coordinating the child's care and whether the parent stopped working due to the child's health. Dependent measures of family financial burden included absolute burden (spending in past 12 months for child's health care needs) and relative burden (spending as a proportion of total family income). After controlling for a host of child, family, and state factors, including family income and measures of the severity of a child's impairments, state-level income inequality has a significant and independent association with family burden related to the health care of their children with special health care needs. Families of children with special health care needs living in states with greater levels of income inequality report higher rates of absolute and relative financial burden.
Biggs, Brian; King, Lawrence; Basu, Sanjay; Stuckler, David
Despite findings indicating that both national income level and income inequality are each determinants of public health, few have studied how national income level, poverty and inequality interact with each other to influence public health outcomes. We analyzed the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in purchasing power parity, extreme poverty rates, the gini coefficient for personal income and three common measures of public health: life expectancy, infant mortality rates, and tuberculosis (TB) mortality rates. Introducing poverty and inequality as modifying factors, we then assessed whether the relationship between GDP and health differed during times of increasing, decreasing, and decreasing or constant poverty and inequality. Data were taken from twenty-two Latin American countries from 1960 to 2007 from the December 2008 World Bank World Development Indicators, World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Database 2008, and the Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean. Consistent with previous studies, we found increases in GDP have a sizable positive impact on population health. However, the strength of the relationship is powerfully influenced by changing levels of poverty and inequality. When poverty was increasing, greater GDP had no significant effect on life expectancy or TB mortality, and only led to a small reduction in infant mortality rates. When inequality was rising, greater GDP had only a modest effect on life expectancy and infant mortality rates, and no effect on TB mortality rates. In sharp contrast, during times of decreasing or constant poverty and inequality, there was a very strong relationship between increasing GDP and higher life expectancy and lower TB and infant mortality rates. Finally, inequality and poverty were found to exert independent, substantial effects on the relationship between national income level and health. Wealthier is indeed healthier, but how much healthier depends on how
Yngwe, M A; Diderichsen, F; Whitehead, M
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To analyse to what extent differences in income, using two distinct measures-as distribution across quintiles and poverty-explain social inequalities in self rated health, for men and women, in Sweden and Britain. DESIGN: Series of cross sectional surveys, the Swedish Survey...... 15 766 people in the Swedish dataset and 49 604 people in the British dataset. MAIN RESULTS: The magnitude of social inequalities in less than good self rated health was similar in Sweden and in Britain, but adjusting for income differences explained a greater part of these in Britain than in Sweden....... In Britain the distribution across income quintiles explained 47% of the social inequalities in self rated health among women and 31% among men, while in Sweden it explained, for women 13% and for men 20%. Poverty explained 22% for British women and 8% for British men of the social inequalities in self rated...
Poverty, violence, lack of education, abuse and exploitation, and refugee status are among the primary determinants of the health of children worldwide. There are 1.3 billion people living on less than 1 US dollars per day. Half the world's population, 3 billion people, live on less than 1.30 US dollars per day. Of the 4.4 billion people who live in developing countries, 60% lack access to sanitation, 33% lack clean water, 20% have no health care, and 20% do not have enough dietary energy and protein.(1) The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth equivalent to the annual income of the poorest 2.5 billion people, nearly half of the world's population.(1) This article describes a number of the social, political, and environmental factors impacting children in the developing (southern hemisphere) world and how these are affected by actions taken in the developed (northern hemisphere) world.
Dr. Richard Wolitski, Deputy Director for Behavioral and Social Science in CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, discusses how the health of men who have sex with men may be influenced by prejudice and discrimination and impacted by policies, laws, and economic factors. Created: 9/22/2010 by National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Date Released: 9/22/2010.
Lundberg, O; Diderichsen, F; Yngwe, M A
Whereas the end of the 1980s was characterized by an economic boom, the early 1990s saw the worst recession since the 1930s. In Sweden, the crisis that started in the fall of 1991 and culminated in 1995 meant dramatically increased unemployment rates followed by cutbacks in welfare state programs....... In addition, other major changes in economic and political conditions have taken place during this period, including tax reforms and EU membership. Although public health as well as health inequalities are likely to be linked with these kinds of macro changes, it is unclear what types of changes in health...... and health inequalities one would expect. In this paper analyses of Swedish data on health inequalities in the periods 1986-87 and 1994-95 are undertaken on the basis of the Swedish Surveys of Living Conditions. The main finding is that overall health levels as well as differences in health between men...
Caicedo, Beatriz; Berbesi Fernández, Dedsy
To evaluate the influence of income inequality and poverty in the towns of Bogotá, Colombia, on poor self-rated health among their residents. The study was based on a multipurpose survey applied in Bogotá-Colombia. A hierarchical data structure (individuals=level1, locations=level 2) was used to define a logit-type multilevel logistic model. The dependent variable was self-perceived poor health, and local variables were income inequality and poverty. All analyses were controlled for socio-demographic variables and stratified by sex. The prevalence of self-reported fair or poor health in the study population was 23.2%. Women showed a greater risk of ill health, as well as men and women with a low educational level, older persons, those without work in the last week and persons affiliated to the subsidized health system. The highest levels of poverty in the city increased the risk of poor health. Cross-level interactions showed that young women and men with a low education level were the most affected by income inequality in the locality. In Bogotá, there are geographical differences in the perception of health. Higher rates of poverty and income inequality were associated with an increased risk of self-perceived poor health. Notable findings were the large health inequalities at the individual and local levels. Copyright © 2014 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Do, Mai; Soelaeman, Rieza; Hotchkiss, David R
Wealth-related disparities in the use of reproductive health services remain a substantial problem in many low- and middle-income countries. Very few studies have attempted to explain such inequalities through decomposition of the contributions made by various individual- and household-level factors. This study aims to: (1) assess the degree of wealth-related inequality and inequity in the use of institutional delivery services in selected low- and middle-income countries, and (2) to explain wealth-related inequity through decomposition by the contributions made by various components, including health insurance coverage. Data come from Demographic and Health Surveys in three countries: Ghana, Rwanda, and the Philippines. Concentration indices are used to calculate inequality and horizontal inequity in service utilization. Multivariate methods are used to decompose inequity. Findings indicate a moderate to high degree of inequity in institutional delivery service use in all study countries. The study provides some evidence of the contribution of health insurance to increased wealth-related inequity in the use of institutional delivery services, although having health insurance was also associated with increased utilization of services. Results suggest that increased health insurance coverage does not automatically translate to lower wealth-related inequity in service utilization. Inequities in service utilization exist if there are still inequities in the health insurance status. The study advocates for expanding health insurance coverage, particularly among the poor to reduce inequity in insurance coverage and increase service utilization.
Birkett, Michelle; Greene, George J.; Hatzenbuehler, Mark L.; Newcomb, Michael E.
This article explicates a vision for social change throughout multiple levels of society necessary to eliminate sexual orientation health disparities in youths. We utilized the framework of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development, a multisystemic model of development that considers direct and indirect influences of multiple levels of the environment. Within this multisystem model we discuss societal and political influences, educational systems, neighborhoods and communities, romantic relationships, families, and individuals. We stress that continued change toward equity in the treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths across these levels will break down the barriers for these youths to achieve healthy development on par with their heterosexual peers. PMID:24328618
Carneiro, Fernando Ferreira; Franco Netto, Guilherme; Corvalan, Carlos; de Freitas, Carlos Machado; Sales, Luiz Belino Ferreira
Despite its progress in terms of socio-economic indicators, Brazil is still unequal, which is due to an unequal and exclusionary historical process. In this paper we selected the Human Development Index - HDI and other social, economic, environmental and health indicators to exemplify this situation. We selected the municipalities that had the lowest HDI in the country in 2000 comparing their evolution over time between 2000 and 2010 by means of indicators linked to the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainable development. These municipalities have an HDI classified as low (sustainable development with quality of life, the improvement of sanitation and education indicators should be a priority for Brazil.
Mustanski, Brian; Birkett, Michelle; Greene, George J; Hatzenbuehler, Mark L; Newcomb, Michael E
This article explicates a vision for social change throughout multiple levels of society necessary to eliminate sexual orientation health disparities in youths. We utilized the framework of Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of development, a multisystemic model of development that considers direct and indirect influences of multiple levels of the environment. Within this multisystem model we discuss societal and political influences, educational systems, neighborhoods and communities, romantic relationships, families, and individuals. We stress that continued change toward equity in the treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths across these levels will break down the barriers for these youths to achieve healthy development on par with their heterosexual peers.
Sofia Zyga; Vasilios Kanellopoulos; Helen Bakola
Full Text Available Health was and will always be the supreme good for human kind. From this scope, people should have equal opportunities for health and all healthcare systems must be build around the term of equity. The aim of this review article is to present, through extensive literature and relevant articles review from Internet, the main aspects of todays inequalities in healthcare provision and the strategies that must be followed so as different social-economical groups have the same access in health care. Also special credit is given on how the political systems must design their healthcare policies according to the facts (social-economical layers and status of their citizens (diseases.
The publication of The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009) marked a paramount moment in the analysis of health and inequality, quickly attracting a remarkable degree of attention, both positive and negative, both in academic and in public discourse. Following at least 20 years of research, the book proposes a simple and powerful argument: inequality per se, more specifically income inequality, is harmful to every aspect of social life. In order to confirm this idea, the authors present a series of bivariate, cross-sectional associations showing comparisons across countries and within the United States. Despite the methodological limitations of this approach, the authors advance causal claims concerning the detrimental effects of income inequality. They also rule out poverty as a plausible alternative explanation, without directly measuring it. Meanwhile, over the last decade stratification scholars have demonstrated the nonlinear effect of economic factors, especially income, on health. The results suggest that a relative approach is best for analyzing dynamics at the top of the income distribution, whereas an absolute approach seems most appropriate for studying the bottom of the distribution. Consistent with this perspective, here I reanalyze data from The Spirit Level, adding a measure of poverty, in order to control the effect of inequality and explore its interaction with poverty. The findings show that inequality and poverty-which I contend are two interdependent but nonetheless distinct phenomena-interact across countries, such that the detrimental effects of inequality are present or stronger in countries with high poverty, and absent or weaker in countries with low poverty; poverty replaces inequality as the favored explanation of health and social ills across states. The new evidence suggests that income distributions are characterized by a complex interplay between inequality and poverty, whose interaction deserves further analysis.
Full Text Available Background. Nepal has made significant progress against the Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health over the past two decades. However, disparities in use of maternal health services persist along geographic, economic, and sociocultural lines. Methods. Trends and inequalities in the use of maternal health services in Nepal between 1994 and 2011 were examined using four Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS, nationally representative cross-sectional surveys conducted by interviewing women who gave birth 3–5 years prior to the survey. Sociodemographic disparities in maternal health service utilization were measured. Rate difference, rate ratios, and concentration index were calculated to measure income inequalities. Findings. The percentage of mothers that received four antenatal care (ANC consultations increased from 9% to 54%, the institutional delivery rate increased from 6% to 47%, and the cesarean section (C-section rate increased from 1% in 1994 to 6% in 2011. The ratio of the richest and the poorest quintile mothers for use of four ANC, institutional delivery, and C-section delivery were 5.08 (95% CI: 3.82–6.76, 9.00 (95% CI: 6.55–12.37, and 9.37 (95% CI: 4.22–20.83, respectively. However, inequality is reducing over time; for the use of four ANC services, the concentration index fell from 0.60 (95% CI: 0.56–0.64 in 1994–1996 to 0.31 (95% CI: 0.29–0.33 in 2009–2011. For institutional delivery, the concentration index fell from 0.65 (95% CI: 0.62–0.70 to 0.40 (95% CI: 0.38–0.40 between 1994–1996 and 2009–2011. For C-section deliveries, an increase in concentration index was observed, 0.64 (95% CI: 0.51–0.77; 0.76 (95% CI: 0.64–0.88; 0.77 (95% CI: 0.71–0.84; and 0.66 (95% CI: 0.60–0.72 in the periods 1994–1996, 1999–2001, 2004–2006, and 2009–2011, respectively. All sociodemographic variables were significant predictors of use of maternal health services, out of which maternal
Full Text Available Humanitarian immigrants and refugees face multiple adjustment tasks and post-settlement support services concentrated in metropolitan areas play an important role. As part of an ongoing commitment, the Australian Government has increasingly supported resettlement in rural and regional areas of the country. Drawing on the experience of Iraqi migrants in Victoria, Australia, we examine some of the conditions that characterize regional resettlement and raise key questions for public health policy. Structural vulnerabilities and discriminations impact upon physical, mental and social wellbeing, leading to further exclusion, with negative long-term implications. The discussion throws light on the issues that migrants and refugees may encounter in other parts within Australia, but are also germane in many countries and highlight the resulting complexity for policy-making.
Pine, Cynthia M; Adair, Pauline M; Petersen, Poul Erik
protocol and development of two standardised measures. First, to investigate how parental attitudes may impact on their children's oral health-related behaviours and second, to assess how dentists' attitudes may impact on the provision of dental care. SUBJECTS: Core research team, lead methodologists, 44...... consortium members from 18 countries. To complete the development of the questionnaire, the initial set of items was administered to parents (n = 23) with children in nursery schools in Dundee, Scotland and sent to the same parents one week later. A standardised measure examining barriers to providing dental...... care for children aged 3 to 6 years was developed. 20 dentists working in primary dental care in Scotland completed the measure on two different occasions separated by one week. RESULTS: Explanatory models were developed. Family questionnaire: test-retest reliability excellent (r = 0.93 p
Susan M. Moffat
Full Text Available New Zealand’s School Dental Service (SDS was founded in 1921, partly as a response to the “appalling” state of children’s teeth, but also at a time when social policy became centered on children’s health and welfare. Referring to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH conceptual framework, this review reflects upon how SDS policy evolved in response to contemporary constraints, challenges, and opportunities and, in turn, affected oral health. Although the SDS played a crucial role in improving oral health for New Zealanders overall and, in particular, children, challenges in addressing oral health inequalities remain to this day.Supported by New Zealand’s Welfare State policies, the SDS expanded over several decades. Economic depression, war, and the “baby boom” affected its growth to some extent but, by 1976, all primary-aged children and most preschoolers were under its care. Despite SDS care, and the introduction of water fluoridation in the 1950s, oral health surveys in the 1970s observed that New Zealand children had heavily-filled teeth, and that adults lost their teeth early. Changes to SDS preventive and restorative practices reduced the average number of fillings per child by the early 1980s, but statistics then revealed substantial inequalities in child oral health, with Ma¯ ori and Pacific Island children faring worse than other children.In the 1990s, New Zealand underwent a series of major structural “reforms,” including changes to the health system and a degree of withdrawal of the Welfare State. As a result, children’s oral health deteriorated and inequalities not only persisted but also widened. By the beginning of the new millennium, reviews of the SDS noted that, as well as worsening oral health, equipment and facilities were run-down and the workforce was aging. In 2006, the New Zealand Government invested in a “reorientation” of the SDS to a Community Oral Health Service (COHS
Moffat, Susan M; Foster Page, Lyndie A; Thomson, W Murray
New Zealand's School Dental Service (SDS) was founded in 1921, partly as a response to the "appalling" state of children's teeth, but also at a time when social policy became centered on children's health and welfare. Referring to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) conceptual framework, this review reflects upon how SDS policy evolved in response to contemporary constraints, challenges, and opportunities and, in turn, affected oral health. Although the SDS played a crucial role in improving oral health for New Zealanders overall and, in particular, children, challenges in addressing oral health inequalities remain