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Sample records for address health inequities

  1. Addressing Environmental Health Inequalities.

    PubMed

    Gouveia, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Environmental health inequalities refer to health hazards disproportionately or unfairly distributed among the most vulnerable social groups, which are generally the most discriminated, poor populations and minorities affected by environmental risks. Although it has been known for a long time that health and disease are socially determined, only recently has this idea been incorporated into the conceptual and practical framework for the formulation of policies and strategies regarding health. In this Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), "Addressing Environmental Health Inequalities-Proceedings from the ISEE Conference 2015", we incorporate nine papers that were presented at the 27th Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. This small collection of articles provides a brief overview of the different aspects of this topic. Addressing environmental health inequalities is important for the transformation of our reality and for changing the actual development model towards more just, democratic, and sustainable societies driven by another form of relationship between nature, economy, science, and politics. PMID:27618906

  2. Addressing Population Health and Health Inequalities: The Role of Fundamental Causes

    PubMed Central

    Tracy, Melissa; Ahern, Jennifer; Galea, Sandro

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. As a case study of the impact of universal versus targeted interventions on population health and health inequalities, we used simulations to examine (1) whether universal or targeted manipulations of collective efficacy better reduced population-level rates and racial/ethnic inequalities in violent victimization; and (2) whether experiments reduced disparities without addressing fundamental causes. Methods. We applied agent-based simulation techniques to the specific example of an intervention on neighborhood collective efficacy to reduce population-level rates and racial/ethnic inequalities in violent victimization. The agent population consisted of 4000 individuals aged 18 years and older with sociodemographic characteristics assigned to match distributions of the adult population in New York City according to the 2000 US Census. Results. Universal experiments reduced rates of victimization more than targeted experiments. However, neither experiment reduced inequalities. To reduce inequalities, it was necessary to eliminate racial/ethnic residential segregation. Conclusions. These simulations support the use of universal intervention but suggest that it is not possible to address inequalities in health without first addressing fundamental causes. PMID:25100428

  3. A Strategic Framework for Utilizing Late-Stage (T4) Translation Research to Address Health Inequities.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Class, Maria; Peprah, Emmanuel; Zhang, Xinzhi; Kaufmann, Peter G; Engelgau, Michael M

    2016-01-01

    Achieving health equity requires that every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances. Inequity experienced by populations of lower socioeconomic status is reflected in differences in health status and mortality rates, as well as in the distribution of disease, disability and illness across these population groups. This article gives an overview of the health inequities literature associated with heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) disorders. We present an ecological framework that provides a theoretical foundation to study late-stage T4 translation research that studies implementation strategies for proven effective interventions to address health inequities. PMID:27440979

  4. Integrated Approaches to Address the Social Determinants of Health for Reducing Health Inequity

    PubMed Central

    Mitlin, Diana; Mulholland, Catherine; Hardoy, Ana; Stern, Ruth

    2007-01-01

    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 multidimensional nature of poverty and the connections between health and social conditions and present an opportunity to move beyond narrow sectoral interventions and to develop comprehensive social responses and participatory processes that address the root causes of health inequity. Considering the complexity and magnitude of health, poverty, and environmental issues in cities, it is clear that improvements in health and health equity demand not only changes in the physical and social environment of cities, but also an integrated approach that takes into account the wider socioeconomic and contextual factors affecting health. Integrated or multilevel approaches should address not only the immediate, but also the underlying and particularly the fundamental causes at societal level of related health issues. The political and legal organization of the policy-making process has been identified as a major determinant of urban and global health, as a result of the role it plays in creating possibilities for participation, empowerment, and its influence on the content of public policies and the distribution of scarce resources. This paper argues that it is essential to adopt a long-term multisectoral approach to address the social determinants of health in urban settings. For comprehensive approaches to address the social determinants of health effectively and at multiple levels, they need explicitly to tackle issues of participation, governance, and the politics of power, decision making, and empowerment. PMID:17393340

  5. Addressing social determinants of health inequities through settings: a rapid review.

    PubMed

    Newman, Lareen; Baum, Fran; Javanparast, Sara; O'Rourke, Kerryn; Carlon, Leanne

    2015-09-01

    Changing settings to be more supportive of health and healthy choices is an optimum way to improve population health and health equity. This article uses the World Health Organisation's (1998) (WHO Health Promotion Glossary. WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW) definition of settings approaches to health promotion as those focused on modifying settings' structure and nature. A rapid literature review was undertaken in the period June-August 2014, combining a systematically conducted search of two major databases with targeted searches. The review focused on identifying what works in settings approaches to address the social determinants of health inequities, using Fair Foundations: the VicHealth framework for health equity. This depicts the social determinants of health inequities as three layers of influence, and entry points for action to promote health equity. The evidence review identified work in 12 settings (cities; communities and neighbourhoods; educational; healthcare; online; faith-based; sports; workplaces; prisons; and nightlife, green and temporary settings), and work at the socioeconomic, political and cultural context layer of the Fair Foundations framework (governance, legislation, regulation and policy). It located a relatively small amount of evidence that settings themselves are being changed in ways which address the social determinants of health inequities. Rather, many initiatives focus on individual behaviour change within settings. There is considerable potential for health promotion professionals to focus settings work more upstream and so replace or integrate individual approaches with those addressing daily living conditions and higher level structures, and a significant need for programmes to be evaluated for differential equity impacts and published to provide a more solid evidence base. PMID:26420808

  6. Addressing Health Inequities: Coronary Heart Disease Training within Learning Disabilities Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holly, Deirdre; Sharp, John

    2014-01-01

    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…

  7. Inequality aversion, health inequalities and health achievement.

    PubMed

    Wagstaff, Adam

    2002-07-01

    This paper addresses two issues. The first is how health inequalities can be measured in such a way as to take into account policymakers' attitudes towards inequality. The Gini coefficient and the related concentration index embody one particular set of value judgements. By generalising these indices, alternative sets of value judgements can be reflected. The other issue addressed is how information on health inequality can be used together with information on the mean of the relevant distribution to obtain an overall measure of health "achievement". PMID:12146594

  8. Swimming upstream: the challenges and rewards of evaluating efforts to address inequities and reduce health disparities.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Dana; Docto, Lindsay; Peters, Jessica; Lamb, Anne Kelsey; Brindis, Claire

    2013-06-01

    Racial and ethnic disparities in the health of Americans are widespread and persistent in the United States despite improvements in the health of Americans overall. Increasingly, strategies for reducing disparities have focused on addressing the factors that contribute to - if not fundamentally underlie - health disparities: social, economic, and environmental inequities, which limit access to resources and cause unhealthy exposures. As public health shifts to interventions that seek to improve the circumstances of disproportionately affected populations and achieve equity through policy change, alternative methods to evaluate these efforts are also required. This paper presents an example of such approaches to addressing asthma disparities through Regional Asthma Management and Prevention's (RAMP) programmatic efforts and an evaluation of these activities. The paper describes RAMP's targets and strategies, as well as the specific evaluation methods applied to each, including activity tracking, observations, surveys, key informant interviews, and case studies. Preliminary evaluation findings are presented, as are lessons learned about the efficacy of the evaluation design features - both its strengths and shortcomings. Findings discussed are intended to contribute to the growing literature that provides evidence for the application of emerging approaches to evaluation that reflect non-traditional public health and support others interested in expanding or replicating this work. PMID:23416287

  9. Visible and Invisible Trends in Black Men's Health: Pitfalls and Promises for Addressing Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Inequities in Health.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Keon L; Ray, Rashawn; Siddiqi, Arjumand; Shetty, Shivan; Baker, Elizabeth A; Elder, Keith; Griffith, Derek M

    2016-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been growing interest in improving black men's health and the health disparities affecting them. Yet, the health of black men consistently ranks lowest across nearly all groups in the United States. Evidence on the health and social causes of morbidity and mortality among black men has been narrowly concentrated on public health problems (e.g., violence, prostate cancer, and HIV/AIDS) and determinants of health (e.g., education and male gender socialization). This limited focus omits age-specific leading causes of death and other social determinants of health, such as discrimination, segregation, access to health care, employment, and income. This review discusses the leading causes of death for black men and the associated risk factors, as well as identifies gaps in the literature and presents a racialized and gendered framework to guide efforts to address the persistent inequities in health affecting black men. PMID:26989830

  10. Assessing Opinions in Community Leadership Networks to Address Health Inequalities: A Case Study from Project IMPACT

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCauley, M. P.; Ramanadhan, S.; Viswanath, K.

    2015-01-01

    This study demonstrates a novel approach that those engaged in promoting social change in health can use to analyze community power, mobilize it and enhance community capacity to reduce health inequalities. We used community reconnaissance methods to select and interview 33 participants from six leadership sectors in "Milltown", the New…

  11. Global Oral Health Inequalities

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, I.; Tabak, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21490232

  12. Equity-focused health impact assessment: A tool to assist policy makers in addressing health inequalities

    SciTech Connect

    Simpson, Sarah . E-mail: sarah.simpson@unsw.edu.au; Mahoney, Mary; Harris, Elizabeth; Aldrich, Rosemary; Stewart-Williams, Jenny

    2005-10-15

    In Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) the use of health impact assessment (HIA) as a tool for improved policy development is comparatively new. The public health workforce do not routinely assess the potential health and equity impacts of proposed policies or programs. The Australasian Collaboration for Health Equity Impact Assessment was funded to develop a strategic framework for equity-focused HIA (EFHIA) with the intent of strengthening the ways in which equity is addressed in each step of HIA. The collaboration developed a draft framework for EFHIA that mirrored, but modified the commonly accepted steps of HIA; tested the draft framework in six different health service delivery settings; analysed the feedback about application of the draft EFHIA framework and modified it accordingly. The strategic framework shows promise in providing a systematic process for identifying potential differential health impacts and assessing the extent to which these are avoidable and unfair. This paper presents the EFHIA framework and discusses some of the issues that arose in the case study sites undertaking equity-focused HIA.

  13. Time to address gender discrimination and inequality in the health workforce

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24885565

  14. Time to address gender discrimination and inequality in the health workforce.

    PubMed

    Newman, Constance

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24885565

  15. Addressing indigenous health workforce inequities: A literature review exploring 'best' practice for recruitment into tertiary health programmes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Addressing the underrepresentation of indigenous health professionals is recognised internationally as being integral to overcoming indigenous health inequities. This literature review aims to identify 'best practice' for recruitment of indigenous secondary school students into tertiary health programmes with particular relevance to recruitment of Māori within a New Zealand context. Methodology/methods A Kaupapa Māori Research (KMR) methodological approach was utilised to review literature and categorise content via: country; population group; health profession ffocus; research methods; evidence of effectiveness; and discussion of barriers. Recruitment activities are described within five broad contexts associated with the recruitment pipeline: Early Exposure, Transitioning, Retention/Completion, Professional Workforce Development, and Across the total pipeline. Results A total of 70 articles were included. There is a lack of published literature specific to Māori recruitment and a limited, but growing, body of literature focused on other indigenous and underrepresented minority populations. The literature is primarily descriptive in nature with few articles providing evidence of effectiveness. However, the literature clearly frames recruitment activity as occurring across a pipeline that extends from secondary through to tertiary education contexts and in some instances vocational (post-graduate) training. Early exposure activities encourage students to achieve success in appropriate school subjects, address deficiencies in careers advice and offer tertiary enrichment opportunities. Support for students to transition into and within health professional programmes is required including bridging/foundation programmes, admission policies/quotas and institutional mission statements demonstrating a commitment to achieving equity. Retention/completion support includes academic and pastoral interventions and institutional changes to ensure safer

  16. Addressing inequalities in oral health in India: need for skill mix in the dental workforce

    PubMed Central

    Mathur, Manu Raj; Singh, Ankur; Watt, Richard

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25949967

  17. Addressing gender inequalities to improve the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of women living with HIV

    PubMed Central

    Amin, Avni

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Globally, women constitute 50% of all persons living with HIV. Gender inequalities are a key driver of women's vulnerabilities to HIV. This paper looks at how these structural factors shape specific behaviours and outcomes related to the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV. Discussion There are several pathways by which gender inequalities shape the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of women living with HIV. First, gender norms that privilege men's control over women and violence against women inhibit women's ability to practice safer sex, make reproductive decisions based on their own fertility preferences and disclose their HIV status. Second, women's lack of property and inheritance rights and limited access to formal employment makes them disproportionately vulnerable to food insecurity and its consequences. This includes compromising their adherence to antiretroviral therapy and increasing their vulnerability to transactional sex. Third, with respect to stigma and discrimination, women are more likely to be blamed for bringing HIV into the family, as they are often tested before men. In several settings, healthcare providers violate the reproductive rights of women living with HIV in relation to family planning and in denying them care. Lastly, a number of countries have laws that criminalize HIV transmission, which specifically impact women living with HIV who may be reluctant to disclose because of fears of violence and other negative consequences. Conclusions Addressing gender inequalities is central to improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes and more broadly the wellbeing of women living with HIV. Programmes that go beyond a narrow biomedical/clinical approach and address the social and structural context of women's lives can also maximize the benefits of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. PMID:26643464

  18. Local Health Departments’ Activities to Address Health Disparities and Inequities: Are We Moving in the Right Direction?

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Gulzar H.; Sheahan, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Context: Health disparities are among the critical public health challenges. Objectives: To analyze the extent to which local health departments (LHDs) perform activities for addressing health disparities, changes in proportion of LHDs’ performing those activities since 2005, and factors associated with variation in such engagement. Methods: We used the 2013 National Profile of LHDs Survey to perform Logistic Regression of activities LHDs performed to address health disparities. Results: About 20 percent of LHDs did not perform any activity to address health disparities. Significant decreases occurred since 2005 in the proportion of LHDs that performed health disparity reduction/elimination activities for four activities. LHD characteristics significantly associated (p≤0.05) with the increased likelihood of performing activities to address health disparities were: recent completion of community health assessment, community health improvement plan and agency wide strategic plan. Other significant positive impacts on such activities included per capita expenditures, local governance, having one or more local boards of health, larger population size and metropolitan status of the LHD jurisdiction. Conclusions: Reduced infrastructural capacity of LHDs has resulted in fewer LHDs addressing health disparities in their jurisdictions. LHD characteristics associated with higher performance of activities for health disparity reduction identified by this research have important policy implications. PMID:26703693

  19. Addressing oral health disparities, inequity in access and workforce issues in a developing country.

    PubMed

    Singh, Abhinav; Purohit, Bharathi M

    2013-10-01

    The health sector challenges in India like those in other low and middle income countries are formidable. India has almost one-third of the world's dental schools. However, provisions of oral health-care services are few in rural parts of India where the majority of the Indian population resides. Disparities exist between the oral health status in urban and rural areas. The present unequal system of mainly private practice directed towards a minority of the population and based on reparative services needs to be modified. National oral health policy needs to be implemented as a priority, with an emphasis on strengthening dental care services under public health facilities. A fast-changing demographic profile and its implications needs to be considered while planning for the future oral health-care workforce. Current oral health status in developing countries, including India, is a result of government public health policies, not lack of dentists. The aim of the article is to discuss pertinent issues relating to oral health disparities, equity in health-care access, dental workforce planning and quality concerns pertaining to the present-day dental education and practices in India, which have implications for other developing countries. PMID:24074015

  20. The Good Food Junction: a Community-Based Food Store Intervention to Address Nutritional Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Muhajarine, Nazeem; Ridalls, Tracy; Abonyi, Sylvia; Vatanparast, Hassan; Whiting, Susan; Walker, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Background This is a 2-year study to assess the early impacts of a new grocery store intervention in a former food desert. Objective The purpose of the study is to understand the early health effects of the introduction of a large-scale food and nutrition-focused community-based population health intervention, the Good Food Junction (GFJ) Cooperative Store, in a geographically bounded group of socially disadvantaged neighborhoods (the “core neighborhoods”) in a midsized Canadian city. The GFJ grocery store was tasked with improving the access of residents to healthy, affordable food. The 5 research questions are: (1) What is the awareness and perception of the GFJ store among residents of the core neighborhoods? (2) Are there differences in awareness and perception among those who do and do not shop at the GFJ? (3) Will healthy food purchasing at the GFJ by residents of the core neighborhoods change over time, and what purchases are these individuals making at this store? (4) What early impact(s) will the GFJ have on key health-related outcomes (such as household food security status, vegetable and fruit intake, key aspects of self-reported mental health, self-reported health)? and (5) Are the effects of the intervention seen for specific vulnerable population groups, such as Aboriginal people, seniors (65 years old or older) and new immigrants (settled in Saskatoon for less than 5 years)? Methods The research project examined initial impacts of the GFJ on the health of the residents in surrounding neighborhoods through a door-to-door cross-sectional survey of food access and household demographics; an examination of GFJ sales data by location of shoppers' residences; and a 1-year, 3-time-point longitudinal study of self-reported health of GFJ shoppers. Results Analyses are on-going, but preliminary results show that shoppers are using the store for its intended purpose, which is to improve access to healthy food in a former food desert. Conclusions To our

  1. Health Inequality and Careers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  2. Malnutrition: another health inequality?

    PubMed

    Stratton, Rebecca J

    2007-11-01

    Malnutrition (undernutrition) is one of the many health inequalities facing governments in the 21st century. Malnutrition is a common condition affecting millions of individuals in the UK, particularly older adults, the sick and those cared for within the healthcare system. It costs the National Health Service > pound sterling 7.3 x 109 annually. New data highlight marked geographical differences in the prevalence of malnutrition across England and an inter-relationship between deprivation, malnutrition and poor outcome. As malnutrition is a largely treatable condition, prompt identification and effective prevention and treatment of this costly condition is imperative. Routine screening for malnutrition in high-risk groups (e.g. the elderly and those in areas with high deprivation) and within the healthcare system should be a priority, with screening linked to appropriate plans for the management of malnutrition. Use should be made of specialised interventions, including oral nutritional supplements and artificial nutrition, to aid recovery and improve outcome, with skilled health professionals, including dietitians, involved where possible. Equity of access to nutritional services and treatments for malnutrition needs to occur across the UK and, although complex and multi-factorial, the effects of deprivation and other relevant socio-economic and geographical factors should be addressed. Ultimately, as malnutrition is a public health problem, its identification and treatment must become a priority for governments, healthcare planners and professionals. PMID:17961273

  3. Framing a Transdisciplinary Research Agenda in Health Education to Address Health Disparities and Social Inequities: A Road Map for SOPHE Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gambescia, Stephen F.; Woodhouse, Lynn D.; Auld, M. Elaine; Green, B. Lee; Quinn, Sandra Crouse; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O.

    2006-01-01

    SOPHE leaders continue to challenge us to be true to the call for an "open society." SOPHE has supported the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating health disparities through its Strategic Plan. SOPHE held an Inaugural Health Education Research Disparities Summit, Health Disparities and Social Inequities: Framing a Transdisciplinary Research…

  4. Social inequalities and health inequity in Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Boutayeb, Abdesslam

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:16522204

  5. Addressing Inequities in Urban Health: Do Decision-Makers Have the Data They Need? Report from the Urban Health Data Special Session at International Conference on Urban Health Dhaka 2015.

    PubMed

    Elsey, H; Thomson, D R; Lin, R Y; Maharjan, U; Agarwal, S; Newell, J

    2016-06-01

    Rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation across low and middle-income countries is leading to ever expanding numbers of urban poor, defined here as slum dwellers and the homeless. It is estimated that 828 million people are currently living in slum conditions. If governments, donors and NGOs are to respond to these growing inequities they need data that adequately represents the needs of the urban poorest as well as others across the socio-economic spectrum.We report on the findings of a special session held at the International Conference on Urban Health, Dhaka 2015. We present an overview of the need for data on urban health for planning and allocating resources to address urban inequities. Such data needs to provide information on differences between urban and rural areas nationally, between and within urban communities. We discuss the limitations of data most commonly available to national and municipality level government, donor and NGO staff. In particular we assess, with reference to the WHO's Urban HEART tool, the challenges in the design of household surveys in understanding urban health inequities.We then present two novel approaches aimed at improving the information on the health of the urban poorest. The first uses gridded population sampling techniques within the design and implementation of household surveys and the second adapts Urban HEART into a participatory approach which enables slum residents to assess indicators whilst simultaneously planning the response. We argue that if progress is to be made towards inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, as articulated in Sustainable Development Goal 11, then understanding urban health inequities is a vital pre-requisite to an effective response by governments, donors, NGOs and communities. PMID:27184570

  6. Health Inequalities Policy in Korea: Current Status and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-il

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, health inequalities have become an important public health concern and the subject of both research and policy attention in Korea. Government reports, as well as many epidemiological studies, have provided evidence that a wide range of health outcomes and health-related behaviors are socioeconomically patterned, and that the magnitude of health inequalities is even increasing. However, except for the revised Health Plan 2010 targets for health equity, few government policies have explicitly addressed health inequalities. Although a number of economic and social policies may have had an impact on health inequalities, such impact has scarcely been evaluated. In this review, we describe the current status of research and policy on health inequalities in Korea. We also suggest future challenges of approaches and policies to reduce health inequalities and highlight the active and intensive engagement of many policy sectors and good evidence for interventions that will make meaningful reduction of health inequalities possible. PMID:22661869

  7. Common risk factor approach to address socioeconomic inequality in the oral health of preschool children – a prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dental caries remains the most prevalent chronic condition in children and a major contributor to poor general health. There is ample evidence of a skewed distribution of oral health, with a small proportion of children in the population bearing the majority of the burden of the disease. This minority group is comprised disproportionately of socioeconomically disadvantaged children. An in-depth longitudinal study is needed to better understand the determinants of child oral health, in order to support effective evidence-based policies and interventions in improving child oral health. The aim of the Study of Mothers’ and Infants’ Life Events Affecting Oral Health (SMILE) project is to identify and evaluate the relative importance and timing of critical factors that shape the oral health of young children and then to seek to evaluate those factors in their inter-relationship with socioeconomic influences. Methods/Design This investigation will apply an observational prospective study design to a cohort of socioeconomically-diverse South Australian newborns and their mothers, intensively following these dyads as the children grow to toddler age. Mothers of newborn children will be invited to participate in the study in the early post-partum period. At enrolment, data will be collected on parental socioeconomic status, mothers’ general and dental health conditions, details of the pregnancy, infant feeding practice and parental health behaviours and practices. Data on diet and feeding practices, oral health behaviours and practices, and dental visiting patterns will be collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months of age. When children turn 24-30 months, the children and their mothers/primary care givers will be invited to an oral examination to record oral health status. Anthropometric assessment will also be conducted. Discussion This prospective cohort study will examine a wide range of determinants influencing child oral health and related general conditions

  8. Addressing oral health inequalities in the United Kingdom--the impact of devolution on population-based fluoride policy.

    PubMed

    Chestnutt, I G

    2013-07-01

    The front covers of the current volume of the British Dental Journal (Volume 215) feature drawings by children participating in the Welsh national oral health improvement programme - Designed to Smile. This programme involves 78,350 children in the Principality, who are deemed at greatest risk of tooth decay, participating in daily toothbrushing in 1,211 nurseries and schools. It mirrors the Childsmile programme in Scotland. Since devolution in 1999, approaches to oral health improvement across the United Kingdom have diverged. This article considers the way in which population-based policies with regards to fluoride use have varied between countries. PMID:23846053

  9. Poverty and health sector inequalities.

    PubMed Central

    Wagstaff, Adam

    2002-01-01

    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. PMID:11953787

  10. Health, inequality and the politics of genes.

    PubMed

    Whittle, Patrick M

    2010-08-13

    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. PMID:20720605

  11. Addressing inequities in alcohol consumption and related harms.

    PubMed

    Roche, Ann; Kostadinov, Victoria; Fischer, Jane; Nicholas, Roger; O'Rourke, Kerryn; Pidd, Ken; Trifonoff, Allan

    2015-09-01

    Social determinants, or the conditions in which individuals are born, grow, live, work and age, can result in inequities in health and well-being. However, to-date little research has examined alcohol use and alcohol-related problems from an inequities and social determinants perspective. This study reviewed the evidence base regarding inequities in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related health outcomes in Australia and identified promising approaches for promoting health equity. Fair Foundations: the VicHealth framework for health equity was used as an organizing schema. The review found that social determinants can strongly influence inequities in alcohol consumption and related harms. In general, lower socioeconomic groups experience more harm than wealthier groups with the same level of alcohol consumption. While Australia has implemented numerous alcohol-related interventions and policies, most do not explicitly aim to reduce inequities, and some may inadvertently exacerbate existing inequities. Interventions with the greatest potential to decrease inequities in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms include town planning, zoning and licensing to prevent disproportionate clustering of outlets in disadvantaged areas; interventions targeting licensed venues; and interventions targeting vulnerable populations. Interventions that may worsen inequities include national guidelines, technological interventions and public drinking bans. There is a need for further research into the best methods for reducing inequities in alcohol consumption and related harms. PMID:26420810

  12. Health inequalities and social group differences: what should we measure?

    PubMed Central

    Murray, C. J.; Gakidou, E. E.; Frenk, J.

    1999-01-01

    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

  13. STRUCTURAL RACISM AND HEALTH INEQUITIES

    PubMed Central

    Gee, Gilbert C.; Ford, Chandra L.

    2014-01-01

    Racial minorities bear a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality. These inequities might be explained by racism, given the fact that racism has restricted the lives of racial minorities and immigrants throughout history. Recent studies have documented that individuals who report experiencing racism have greater rates of illnesses. While this body of research has been invaluable in advancing knowledge on health inequities, it still locates the experiences of racism at the individual level. Yet, the health of social groups is likely most strongly affected by structural, rather than individual, phenomena. The structural forms of racism and their relationship to health inequities remain under-studied. This article reviews several ways of conceptualizing structural racism, with a focus on social segregation, immigration policy, and intergenerational effects. Studies of disparities should more seriously consider the multiple dimensions of structural racism as fundamental causes of health disparities. PMID:25632292

  14. [Inequities in access to information and inequities in health].

    PubMed

    Filho, Alberto Pellegrini

    2002-01-01

    This piece presents evidence that inequities in information are an important determinant of health inequities and that eliminating these inequities in access to information, especially by using new information and communication technologies (ICTs), could represent a significant advance in terms of guaranteeing the right to health for all. The piece reviews the most important international scientific research findings on the determinants of the health of populations, emphasizing the role of socioeconomic inequities and of deteriorating social capital as factors that worsen health conditions. It is noteworthy that Latin America has both socioeconomic inequities and major sectors of the population living in poverty. Among the fundamental strategies for overcoming the inequalities and the poverty are greater participation by the poor in civic life and the strengthening of social capital. The contribution that the new ICTs could make to these strategies is analyzed, and the Virtual Health Library (VHL) is discussed. Coordinated by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), the VHL is a contribution by the Pan American Health Organization that takes advantage of the potential of ICTs to democratize information and knowledge and consequently promote equity in health. The "digital gap" is discussed as something that can produce inequity itself and also increase other inequities, including ones in health. Prospects are discussed for overcoming this gap, emphasizing the role that governments and international organizations should play in order to expand access to the global public good that information for social development is. PMID:12162837

  15. Ethnic minority health in Vietnam: a review exposing horizontal inequity

    PubMed Central

    Målqvist, Mats; Hoa, Dinh Thi Phuong; Liem, Nguyen Thanh; Thorson, Anna; Thomsen, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Background Equity in health is a pressing concern and reaching disadvantaged populations is necessary to close the inequity gap. To date, the discourse has predominately focussed on reaching the poor. At the same time and in addition to wealth, other structural determinants that influence health outcomes exist, one of which is ethnicity. Inequities based on group belongings are recognised as ‘horizontal’, as opposed to the more commonly used notion of ‘vertical’ inequity based on individual characteristics. Objective The aim of the present review is to highlight ethnicity as a source of horizontal inequity in health and to expose mechanisms that cause and maintain this inequity in Vietnam. Design Through a systematic search of available academic and grey literature, 49 publications were selected for review. Information was extracted on: a) quantitative measures of health inequities based on ethnicity and b) qualitative descriptions explaining potential reasons for ethnicity-based health inequities. Results Five main areas were identified: health-care-seeking and utilization, maternal and child health, nutrition, infectious diseases, and oral health and hygiene. Evidence suggests the presence of severe health inequity in health along ethnic lines in all these areas. Research evidence also offers explanations derived from both external and internal group dynamics to this inequity. It is reported that government policies and programs appear to be lacking in culturally adaptation and sensitivity, and examples of bad attitudes and discrimination from health staff toward minority persons were identified. In addition, traditions and patriarchal structures within ethnic minority groups were seen to contribute to the maintenance of harmful health behaviors within these groups. Conclusion Better understandings of the scope and pathways of horizontal inequities are required to address ethnic inequities in health. Awareness of ethnicity as a determinant of health, not

  16. Health inequalities after austerity in Greece.

    PubMed

    Karanikolos, Marina; Kentikelenis, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27245588

  17. [Social inequalities in maternal health].

    PubMed

    Azria, E; Stewart, Z; Gonthier, C; Estellat, C; Deneux-Tharaux, C

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26433316

  18. Global oral health inequalities: the view from a research funder.

    PubMed

    Garcia, I; Tabak, L A

    2011-05-01

    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. PMID:21490232

  19. Health Inequities: Evaluation of Two Paradigms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashcroft, Rachelle

    2010-01-01

    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…

  20. On measuring inequalities in health.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfson, M.; Rowe, G.

    2001-01-01

    In a recent series of papers, Murray et al. have put forward a number of important ideas regarding the measurement of inequalities in health. In this paper we agree with some of these ideas but draw attention to one key aspect of their approach--measuring inequalities on the basis of small area data--which is flawed. A numerical example is presented to illustrate the problem. An alternative approach drawing on longitudinal data is outlined, which preserves and enhances the most desirable aspects of their proposal. These include the use of a life course perspective, and the consideration of non-fatal health outcomes as well as the more usual information on mortality patterns. PMID:11436478

  1. [Inequalities in health in Italy].

    PubMed

    Caiazzo, Antonio; Cardano, Mario; Cois, Ester; Costa, Giuseppe; Marinacci, Chiara; Spadea, Teresa; Vannoni, Francesca; Venturini, Lorenzo

    2004-01-01

    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

  2. Using Health Literacy in School to Overcome Inequalities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flecha, Ainhoa; Garcia, Rocio; Rudd, Rima

    2011-01-01

    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…

  3. Using a Health in All Policies Approach to Address Social Determinants of Sexually Transmitted Disease Inequities in the Context of Community Change and Redevelopment

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Elizabeth; Branscomb, Jane; Cheung, Karen; Reed, Phillip Jackson; Wong, Naima; Henderson, Michael; Williams, Samantha

    2013-01-01

    Objectives We used a Health in All Policies (HiAP) framework to determine what data, policy, and community efficacy opportunities exist for improving sexual health and reducing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in an area surrounding an Army base undergoing redevelopment in Atlanta, Georgia. Methods We conducted a literature review, consulted with experts, mapped social determinants in the community, conducted key informant interviews with community leaders to explore policy solutions, used Photovoice with community members to identify neighborhood assets, and shared data with all stakeholder groups to solicit engagement for next steps. Results We identified the following HiAP-relevant determinants of STD inequities in the literature: education, employment, male incarceration, drug and alcohol marketing, and social capital. Quantitative data confirmed challenges in education, employment, and male incarceration in the area. Interviews identified policy opportunities such as educational funding ratios, Community Hire Agreements, code and law enforcement, addiction and mental health resources, lighting for safety, and a nonemergency public safety number. Photovoice participants identified community assets to protect including family-owned businesses, green spaces, gathering places, public transportation resources, historical sites, and architectural elements. Stakeholder feedback provided numerous opportunities for next steps. Conclusions This study contributes to the HiAP literature by providing an innovative mixed-methods design that locates social determinants of STDs within a geographic context, identifies policy solutions from local leaders, highlights community assets through the lens of place attachment, and engages stakeholders in identifying next steps. Findings from this study could inform other redevelopments, community-based studies of STDs, and HiAP efforts. PMID:24179283

  4. The effect of ageing on health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Matthews, David

    The final article in this five-part series on the relationship between sociology and nursing practice discusses age-related health inequalities. Age has a direct influence on individuals' health and wellbeing. From a sociological viewpoint, individuals' health status in old age is a reflection of experiences throughout their lifetime, which means that health inequalities accumulate. PMID:26665634

  5. Black-White Health Inequalities in Canada.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Gerry; Patterson, Andrew C

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:25894533

  6. Inequalities in health and gender.

    PubMed

    Haavio-Mannila, E

    1986-01-01

    Gender inequalities in health are studied in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on the basis of survey data on morbidity and symptoms of anxiety, and of mental hospitalization statistics. Women have higher rates of illness than men in countries where, and in periods when, they have to a great extent stayed at home as full-time housewives. Participation in paid economic activity and the resulting economical independence thus seems to be beneficial to women's health on the macro-level of society. On the micro-level of individual families, inequality in morbidity by gender is smaller in families with two economical providers than in families where the wife stays at home. The anxiety rates of employed wives are, however, relatively high compared with those of men and non-employed wives. Only in Sweden is the mental health of employed wives good, perhaps because of supportive social policies favouring women's work outside the home. The strain involved in combining family and work among women thus becomes manifest in the appearance of symptoms of anxiety but not in physical morbidity nor mental hospitalization. PMID:3961534

  7. Strengthening health information systems to address health equity challenges.

    PubMed Central

    Nolen, Lexi Bambas; Braveman, Paula; Dachs, J. Norberto W.; Delgado, Iris; Gakidou, Emmanuela; Moser, Kath; Rolfe, Liz; Vega, Jeanette; Zarowsky, Christina

    2005-01-01

    Special studies and isolated initiatives over the past several decades in low-, middle- and high-income countries have consistently shown inequalities in health among socioeconomic groups and by gender, race or ethnicity, geographical area and other measures associated with social advantage. Significant health inequalities linked to social (dis)advantage rather than to inherent biological differences are generally considered unfair or inequitable. Such health inequities are the main object of health development efforts, including global targets such as the Millennium Development Goals, which require monitoring to evaluate progress. However, most national health information systems (HIS) lack key information needed to assess and address health inequities, namely, reliable, longitudinal and representative data linking measures of health with measures of social status or advantage at the individual or small-area level. Without empirical documentation and monitoring of such inequities, as well as country-level capacity to use this information for effective planning and monitoring of progress in response to interventions, movement towards equity is unlikely to occur. This paper reviews core information requirements and potential databases and proposes short-term and longer term strategies for strengthening the capabilities of HIS for the analysis of health equity and discusses HIS-related entry points for supporting a culture of equity-oriented decision-making and policy development. PMID:16184279

  8. The Israeli Medical Association's discourse on health inequity.

    PubMed

    Avni, Shlomit; Filc, Dani; Davidovitch, Nadav

    2015-11-01

    The present paper analyses the emergence and characteristics of Israeli Medical Association (IMA) discourse on health inequality in Israel during the years 1977-2010. The IMA addressed the issue of health inequality at a relatively late stage in time (2000), as compared to other OECD countries such as the UK, and did so in a relatively limited way, focusing primarily on professional or economic interests. The dominant discourses on health inequalities within the IMA are biomedical and behavioral, characterized by a focus on medical and/or cultural and behavioral differences, the predominant use of medical terminology, and an individualistic rather than a structural conceptualization of the social characteristics of health differences. Additionally, IMA discourses emphasize certain aspects of health inequality such as the geographical and material inequities, and in doing so overlook the role played by class, nationality and the unequal structure of citizenship. Paradoxically, by disregarding the latter, the IMA's discourse on health inequality has the potential to reinforce the structural causes of these inequities. Our research is based on a textual critical discourse analysis (CDA) of hundreds of documents from the IMA's scientific medical journal, the IMA's members journal and public IMA documents such as press-releases, Knesset protocols, publications, and public surveys. By providing knowledge on the different ways in which the IMA, a key stakeholder in the health field, de-codifies, understands, explains, and attempts to deal with health inequality, the article illuminates possible implications on health policy and seeks to evaluate the direct interventions carried out by the IMA, or by other actors influenced by it, pertaining to health inequality. PMID:26409421

  9. Health Inequalities: Trends, Progress, and Policy

    PubMed Central

    Bleich, Sara N.; Jarlenski, Marian P.; Bell, Caryn N.; LaVeist, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    Health inequalities, which have been well documented for decades, have more recently become policy targets in developed countries. This review describes time trends in health inequalities (by sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status), commitments to reduce health inequalities, and progress made to eliminate health inequalities in the United States, United Kingdom, and other OECD countries. Time-trend data in the United States indicate a narrowing of the gap between the best- and worst-off groups in some health indicators, such as life expectancy, but a widening of the gap in others, such as diabetes prevalence. Similarly, time-trend data in the United Kingdom indicate a narrowing of the gap between the best- and worst-off groups in some indicators, such as hypertension prevalence, whereas the gap between social classes has increased for life expectancy. More research and better methods are needed to measure precisely the relationships between stated policy goals and observed trends in health inequalities. PMID:22224876

  10. Social inequalities and perceived health.

    PubMed

    Hunt, S M; McEwen, J; McKenna, S P

    1985-01-01

    impoverishment rather than by the gross poverty and grinding labour of the past. The results of this study indicate that changes in the allocation of health care resources may have only a minor influence on inequalities in health. Remedial action would, rather, need to take the more radical form of providing fulfillment for aspirations and enhancing well-being by introducing fundamental social, economic and environmental reforms. PMID:10270615

  11. Symbolic Capital, Consumption, and Health Inequality

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Research on economic inequalities in health has been largely polarized between psychosocial and neomaterial approaches. Examination of symbolic capital—the material display of social status and how it is structurally constrained—is an underutilized way of exploring economic disparities in health and may help to resolve the existing theoretical polarization. In contemporary society, what people do with money and how they consume and display symbols of wealth may be as important as income itself. After tracing the historical rise of consumption in capitalist society and its interrelationship with economic inequality, I discuss evidence for the role of symbolic capital in health inequalities and suggest directions for future research. PMID:21164087

  12. [Inequalities in health: definitions, concepts, and theories].

    PubMed

    Arcaya, Mariana C; Arcaya, Alyssa L; Subramanian, S V

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26758216

  13. Inequalities in health: definitions, concepts, and theories.

    PubMed

    Arcaya, Mariana C; Arcaya, Alyssa L; Subramanian, S V

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26112142

  14. Inequalities in health: definitions, concepts, and theories

    PubMed Central

    Arcaya, Mariana C.; Arcaya, Alyssa L.; Subramanian, S. V.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26112142

  15. Impacts of Climate Change on Inequities in Child Health.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Charmian M; Friel, Sharon

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:27417491

  16. Impacts of Climate Change on Inequities in Child Health

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Charmian M.; Friel, Sharon

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:27417491

  17. Income inequality and health in China: A panel data analysis.

    PubMed

    Bakkeli, Nan Zou

    2016-05-01

    During the last decades, the level of income inequality in China has increased dramatically. Despite rapid economic growth and improved living conditions, the health performance in China has dropped compared to the period before the economic reform. The "Wilkinson hypothesis" suggests that increased income inequality in a society is correlated to worse health performance. China is a particular interesting case due to the rapid socioeconomic change in the country. This study uses the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) to address the question of whether income inequality has an impact on individuals' risks of having health problems in China. Unlike previous studies with health measures such as self-reported health or mortality rate, our study uses physical functions to measure individual health. By analysing panel data using county/city-level dummies and year fixed-effects, we found that income inequality does not have a significant impact on individuals' risks of having health problems. This result is robust when changing between different indicators for income inequality. PMID:27060540

  18. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report--U.S. 2013

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Community Health Tribal Support Women's Health CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR) Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... Sheets 2011 Report More Information CDC Releases Second Health Disparities & Inequalities Report - United States, 2013 CDC and its partners ...

  19. Lies, Damned Lies, and Health Inequality Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Gerdtham, Ulf-G; Petrie, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Measuring and monitoring socioeconomic health inequalities are critical for understanding the impact of policy decisions. However, the measurement of health inequality is far from value neutral, and one can easily present the measure that best supports one’s chosen conclusion or selectively exclude measures. Improving people’s understanding of the often implicit value judgments is therefore important to reduce the risk that researchers mislead or policymakers are misled. While the choice between relative and absolute inequality is already value laden, further complexities arise when, as is often the case, health variables have both a lower and upper bound, and thus can be expressed in terms of either attainments or shortfalls, such as for mortality/survival. We bring together the recent parallel discussions from epidemiology and health economics regarding health inequality measurement and provide a deeper understanding of the different value judgments within absolute and relative measures expressed both in attainments and shortfalls, by graphically illustrating both hypothetical and real examples. We show that relative measures in terms of attainments and shortfalls have distinct value judgments, highlighting that for health variables with two bounds the choice is no longer only between an absolute and a relative measure but between an absolute, an attainment- relative and a shortfall-relative one. We illustrate how these three value judgments can be combined onto a single graph which shows the rankings according to all three measures, and illustrates how the three measures provide ethical benchmarks against which to judge the difference in inequality between populations. PMID:26133019

  20. Inequalities in health and social policy.

    PubMed

    Zieliński, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    WHO and the European Commission impart great importance to promoting activities aimed at reducing inequalities in health. The article raised methodological problems of studies on the causes of inequalities in health. Author draws attention to the need for field studies focused on comparing well-specified population groups in order to achieve greater accuracy of studies to obtain preventive actions better fit to the specific needs of a given population. He also indicates the difficulties related to the comparisons made on an international scale due to the large number of variables that could interfere with investigated exposure. A significant part of the article is devoted to the interpretation of the measurement of poverty and the relationship between economic inequality and inequities in health. The author points out that there are no simple relations in this area, but the impact of economic inequality is particularly pronounced where inequalities in income of families bring large fractions of a society below the threshold of poverty. PMID:27139342

  1. The importance of addressing gender inequality in efforts to end vertical transmission of HIV

    PubMed Central

    Ghanotakis, Elena; Peacock, Dean; Wilcher, Rose

    2012-01-01

    Issues The recently launched “Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive” sets forth ambitious targets that will require more widespread implementation of comprehensive prevention of vertical HIV transmission (PMTCT) programmes. As PMTCT policymakers and implementers work toward these new goals, increased attention must be paid to the role that gender inequality plays in limiting PMTCT programmatic progress. Description A growing body of evidence suggests that gender inequality, including gender-based violence, is a key obstacle to better outcomes related to all four components of a comprehensive PMTCT programme. Gender inequality affects the ability of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV, prevent unintended pregnancies and access and continue to use HIV prevention, care and treatment services. Lessons Learned In light of this evidence, global health donors and international bodies increasingly recognize that it is critical to address the gender disparities that put women and children at increased risk of HIV and impede their access to care. The current policy environment provides unprecedented opportunities for PMTCT implementers to integrate efforts to address gender inequality with efforts to expand access to clinical interventions for preventing vertical HIV transmission. Effective community- and facility-based strategies to transform harmful gender norms and mitigate the impacts of gender inequality on HIV-related outcomes are emerging. PMTCT programmes must embrace these strategies and expand beyond the traditional focus of delivering ARV prophylaxis to pregnant women living with HIV. Without greater implementation of comprehensive, gender transformative PMTCT programmes, elimination of vertical transmission of HIV will remain elusive. PMID:22789642

  2. Maternal Depression and Childhood Health Inequalities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turney, Kristin

    2011-01-01

    An increasing body of literature documents considerable inequalities in the health of young children in the United States, though maternal depression is one important, yet often overlooked, determinant of children's health. In this article, the author uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 4,048) and finds that maternal…

  3. The Interplay between socioeconomic inequalities and clinical oral health.

    PubMed

    Steele, J; Shen, J; Tsakos, G; Fuller, E; Morris, S; Watt, R; Guarnizo-Herreño, C; Wildman, J

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Inequalities, the arts and public health: Towards an international conversation

    PubMed Central

    Parkinson, Clive; White, Mike

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Income inequality and health: pathways and mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Kawachi, I; Kennedy, B P

    1999-01-01

    The relationship between income and health is well established: the higher an individual's income, the better his or her health. However, recent research suggests that health may also be affected by the distribution of income within society. We outline the potential mechanisms underlying the so-called relative income hypothesis, which predicts that an individual's health status is better in societies with a more equal distribution of incomes. The effects of income inequality on health may be mediated by underinvestment in social goods, such as public education and health care; disruption of social cohesion and the erosion of social capital; and the harmful psychosocial effects of invidious social comparisons. PMID:10199670

  6. Principles of Lifeworld Led Public Health Practice in the UK and Sweden: Reducing Health Inequalities.

    PubMed

    Hemingway, Ann; Norton, Liz; Aarts, Clara

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of the lifeworld perspective in reducing inequalities in health and we explain how the public health practitioner can use this perspective to address public health issues with individuals and groups. We offer ideas for public health actions that are based on and deal with the lifeworld context of individual people or families. Each of the dimensions of the lifeworld temporality, spatiality, intersubjectivity, embodiment and mood are outlined and their significance explained in relation to health inequalities. Suggestions for action to reduce health inequalities are made and overall principles of lifeworld led public health practice are proposed by way of conclusion. The principles comprise understanding the community members' lifeworld view, understanding their view of their potential, offering resources and facilitating empowerment, and sharing lifeworld case studies and lobbying to influence local and national policy in relation to both the individual and communities. PMID:25642346

  7. Principles of Lifeworld Led Public Health Practice in the UK and Sweden: Reducing Health Inequalities

    PubMed Central

    Hemingway, Ann; Norton, Liz; Aarts, Clara

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of the lifeworld perspective in reducing inequalities in health and we explain how the public health practitioner can use this perspective to address public health issues with individuals and groups. We offer ideas for public health actions that are based on and deal with the lifeworld context of individual people or families. Each of the dimensions of the lifeworld temporality, spatiality, intersubjectivity, embodiment and mood are outlined and their significance explained in relation to health inequalities. Suggestions for action to reduce health inequalities are made and overall principles of lifeworld led public health practice are proposed by way of conclusion. The principles comprise understanding the community members' lifeworld view, understanding their view of their potential, offering resources and facilitating empowerment, and sharing lifeworld case studies and lobbying to influence local and national policy in relation to both the individual and communities. PMID:25642346

  8. Johan Mackenbach, awarded an honorary doctorate for his work on health inequalities, in a discussion of burning issues in tackling health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Lorant, Vincent; D'Hoore, William

    2015-01-01

    On 20 March 2015, Professor Johan Mackenbach of the Erasmus University Medical Centre was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Catholic University (Université Catholique) of Louvain, Belgium, for his outstanding contribution to the analysis of health inequalities in Europe and to the development of policies intended to address them. In this context, a debate took place between Professor Mackenbach, Professor Maniquet, a well-being economist, and a representative of the Federal Health Ministry (Mr. Brieuc Vandamme). They were asked to debate on three topics. (1) socio-economic inequalities in health are not smaller in countries with universal welfare policies; (2) Policies needs to target either absolute inequalities or relative inequalities; (3) The focus of policies should either address the social determinants of health or concentrate on access to health care. The results of the debate by the three speakers highlighted the fact that welfare systems have not been able to tackle diseases of affluence. Targets for health policies should be set according to opportunity cost: health care is increasingly costly and a focus on health inequalities above all other inequalities runs the risk of taking a dogmatic approach to well-being. Health is only one dimension of well-being and policies to address inequality need to balance preferences between several dimensions of well-being. Finally, policymakers may not have that much choice when it comes to reducing inequality: all effective policies should be implemented. For example, Belgium and other European countries should not leave aside health protection policies that are evidence-based, in particular taxes on tobacco and alcohol. In his final contribution, Professor Mackenbach reminded the audience that politics is medicine on a larger scale and stated that policymakers should make more use of research into public health. PMID:26475341

  9. Poverty and inequity in adolescent health care.

    PubMed

    Girard, Gustavo A

    2009-12-01

    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. PMID:20653207

  10. [Inequity in health: its historical development].

    PubMed

    Salaverry García, Oswaldo

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24448954

  11. Ethical Issues in Addressing Inequity in/through ESL Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Ena

    2011-01-01

    This article outlines a researcher's struggles with conducting "ethical" research when her case study reveals racializations faced by a minority teacher in a Canadian ESL program. How might becoming privy to research participants' experiences of inequity in ESL education complicate the notion of research ethics when "doing the right thing" runs…

  12. Overcoming structural inequalities in oral health: the role of dental curricula.

    PubMed

    Foster Page, L A; Chen, V; Gibson, B; McMillan, J

    2016-06-01

    To date the role of health professional schools in addressing oral health inequalities have been minimal, as attempts have focused principally upon systemic reform and broader societal obligations. Professionalism is a broad competency that is taught throughout dental schools and encompasses a range of attributes. Professionalism as a competency draws some debate and appears to be a shifting phenomenon. We may ask if professionalism in the dental curricula may be better addressed by social accountability? Social accountability directs oral health professional curricula (education, research, and service activities) towards addressing the priority health concerns of the community, in our case oral health inequalities. Although working toward dental schools becoming more socially accountable seems like a sensible way to address oral health inequalities, it might have limitations. We will consider some of the challenges in the dental curricula by considering some of the political, structural, social and ethical factors that influence our institutions and our graduates. PMID:27352476

  13. Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care

    PubMed Central

    Williams, David R.; Rucker, Toni D.

    2000-01-01

    Racial disparities in medical care should be understood within the context of racial inequities in societal institutions. Systematic discrimination is not the aberrant behavior of a few but is often supported by institutional policies and unconscious bias based on negative stereotypes. Effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and new initiatives to appropriately train medical professionals and recruit more providers from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. Identifying and implementing effective strategies to eliminate racial inequities in health status and medical care should be made a national priority. PMID:11481746

  14. Beyond inequality: Acknowledging the complexity of social determinants of health.

    PubMed

    Eckersley, Richard

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26560411

  15. The contribution of occupation to health inequality

    PubMed Central

    Ravesteijn, Bastian; van Kippersluis, Hans; van Doorslaer, Eddy

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. [Social inequality and health in Brazil].

    PubMed

    Neri, Marcelo; Soares, Wagner

    2002-01-01

    This paper studies the relationship between social inequality and health in Brazil. The strategy adopted by the authors was to analyze needs and uses of medical care as well as access to health insurance plans according to income distribution. Determinants of health care consumption were also studied by means of logistic regression. The main source of data was the 1998 National Sample Household Survey of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (PNAD-IBGE). In general, individuals in the lowest income distribution deciles had less access to health insurance, greater need for medical care, and lower consumption of such services. Other determinants of health care consumption were heavily associated with the most privileged social strata (greater access to schooling, water supply, sewerage, electricity, garbage collection, and health insurance) and with factors pointing to the capacity to supply these services in country. PMID:12563503

  17. Racial ideology and explanations for health inequalities among middle-class whites.

    PubMed

    Muntaner, C; Nagoshi, C; Diala, C

    2001-01-01

    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. PMID:11562012

  18. Regional inequality in health and its determinants: evidence from China.

    PubMed

    Fang, Pengqian; Dong, Siping; Xiao, Jingjing; Liu, Chaojie; Feng, Xianwei; Wang, Yiping

    2010-01-01

    Health inequality is a problem with great political importance all over the world. Urban-rural inequality in health has attracted great attentions in recent years in China, but very few researches have been undertaken into regional discrepancies in health. This research aims at measuring the degree of regional health inequality in China and identifying its determinants. Indicators for health, socioeconomic status, health resources and health services delivery were selected through Delphi consultations from 18 experts. With cross-sectional data from 31 provinces, composite health indexes were generated. The regional inequality in health was described by Lorenz curve and measured by Gini coefficient. The determinants of health inequality were identified through canonical correlation analysis. The results showed that there existed distinct regional disparities in health in China, which were mainly reflected in "Maternal & Child Health" and "Infectious Diseases", not in the most commonly used health indicator average life expectancy. The regional health inequality in China was increasing with the rapid economic growth. The regional health inequality was associated with not only the distribution of wealth, but also the distribution of health resources and primary health care services. Policy makers need to be aware of three major challenges when they try to achieve and maintain equality in distribution of health: First, the most commonly used health indicators are not necessarily sensitive enough to detect health inequalities. Second, increase in health inequality is often accompanied with rapid economic growth and increase in life expectancy. Countries in transition are facing the greatest challenge in developing a fair and equitable health care system. Finally, investment in health resources does bring about differences in distribution of health. However, primary health care plays a more important role than hospital services in reducing regional disparities in health

  19. Explaining the role of the social determinants of health on health inequality in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ataguba, John Ele-Ojo; Day, Candy; McIntyre, Di

    2015-01-01

    Background Action on the social determinants of health (SDH) is relevant for reducing health inequalities. This is particularly the case for South Africa (SA) with its very high level of income inequality and inequalities in health and health outcomes. This paper provides evidence on the key SDH for reducing health inequalities in the country using a framework initially developed by the World Health Organization. Objective This paper assesses health inequalities in SA and explains the factors (i.e. SDH and other individual level factors) that account for large disparities in health. The relative contribution of different SDH to health inequality is also assessed. Design A cross-sectional design is used. Data come from the third wave of the nationally representative National Income Dynamics Study. A subsample of adults (18 years and older) is used. The main variable of interest is dichotomised good versus bad self-assessed health (SAH). Income-related health inequality is assessed using the standard concentration index (CI). A positive CI means that the rich report better health than the poor. A negative value signifies the opposite. The paper also decomposes the CI to assess its contributing factors. Results Good SAH is significantly concentrated among the rich rather than the poor (CI=0.008; p<0.01). Decomposition of this result shows that social protection and employment (contribution=0.012; p<0.01), knowledge and education (0.005; p<0.01), and housing and infrastructure (−0.003; p<0.01) contribute significantly to the disparities in good SAH in SA. After accounting for these other variables, the contribution of income and poverty is negligible. Conclusions Addressing health inequalities inter alia requires an increased government commitment in terms of budgetary allocations to key sectors (i.e. employment, social protection, education, housing, and other appropriate infrastructure). Attention should also be paid to equity in benefits from government

  20. Inequalities in oral health: the role of sociology.

    PubMed

    Gibson, L B; Blake, M; Baker, S

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:27352473

  1. Beyond the income inequality hypothesis: class, neo-liberalism, and health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Coburn, David

    2004-01-01

    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. PMID:14572920

  2. What kinds of policies to reduce health inequalities in the UK do researchers support?

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katherine E.; Kandlik Eltanani, Mor

    2015-01-01

    Background Despite a wealth of research and policy initiatives, progress in tackling the UK's health inequalities has been limited. This article explores whether there appears to be consensus among researchers about the kinds of policies likely to reduce health inequalities. Methods Ninety-nine proposals for addressing health inequalities were identified from multiple sources. Forty-one researchers participated in a survey assessing the extent to which they believed each proposal would reduce health inequalities, based on three criteria. The 20 proposals generating most support were employed in a second stage, in which 92 researchers indicated which proposals they felt would have the greatest impact on reducing health inequalities. Results Some consensus exists among researchers about the policy approaches likely to reduce UK health inequalities: a more progressive distribution of income/wealth, greater investment in services for deprived communities, plus regulatory policies to limit the impact of lifestyle-behavioural risks. However, researchers' support for proposals varies depending whether they are asked to express their expert opinion or to comment on the strength of the available evidence. Conclusions When consulting researchers about health inequalities, policymakers need to consider whether they are seeking research-informed expertise or assessments of the available evidence; these questions are likely to yield different responses. PMID:25174045

  3. A health inequalities perspective on violence against women.

    PubMed

    Humphreys, Cathy

    2007-03-01

    The present paper argues that the physical and mental health consequences of gender-based violence constitute a major public health problem in the UK and a source of significant health inequality. The concept of violence against women is explored alongside brief examples of the mental and physical health impact of this violence. While the impact on women's health is relatively uncontested, the extent to which social divisions such as poverty, class and minority ethnic status create specific vulnerabilities to violence are more controversial. A widely held view within the movement to support survivors within the UK has been that violence against women cuts across class and ethnicity, and is found in all communities and classes. A more nuanced discussion of the way in which poverty and ethnic background may create particular vulnerabilities is explored. Disentangling cause and consequence, and also the barriers to help-seeking for minority ethnic women are discussed. The role of social workers in addressing the way in which violence against women is both ubiquitous but marginal in their caseloads is discussed, and appropriate interventions to respond to health inequality issues are proposed. PMID:17286673

  4. Mental disorders, health inequalities and ethics: A global perspective.

    PubMed

    Ngui, Emmanuel M; Khasakhala, Lincoln; Ndetei, David; Roberts, Laura Weiss

    2010-01-01

    The global burden of neuropsychiatry diseases and related mental health conditions is enormous, underappreciated and under resourced, particularly in the developing nations. The absence of adequate and quality mental health infrastructure and workforce is increasingly recognized. The ethical implications of inequalities in mental health for people and nations are profound and must be addressed in efforts to fulfil key bioethics principles of medicine and public health: respect for individuals, justice, beneficence, and non-malfeasance. Stigma and discrimination against people living with mental disorders affects their education, employment, access to care and hampers their capacity to contribute to society. Mental health well-being is closely associated to several Millennium Development Goals and economic development sectors including education, labour force participation, and productivity. Limited access to mental health care increases patient and family suffering. Unmet mental health needs have a negative effect on poverty reduction initiatives and economic development. Untreated mental conditions contribute to economic loss because they increase school and work absenteeism and dropout rates, healthcare expenditure, and unemployment. Addressing unmet mental health needs will require development of better mental health infrastructure and workforce and overall integration of mental and physical health services with primary care, especially in the developing nations. PMID:20528652

  5. Mental disorders, health inequalities and ethics: A global perspective

    PubMed Central

    NGUI, EMMANUEL M.; KHASAKHALA, LINCOLN; NDETEI, DAVID; ROBERTS, LAURA WEISS

    2010-01-01

    The global burden of neuropsychiatry diseases and related mental health conditions is enormous, underappreciated and under resourced, particularly in the developing nations. The absence of adequate and quality mental health infrastructure and workforce is increasingly recognized. The ethical implications of inequalities in mental health for people and nations are profound and must be addressed in efforts to fulfil key bioethics principles of medicine and public health: respect for individuals, justice, beneficence, and non-malfeasance. Stigma and discrimination against people living with mental disorders affects their education, employment, access to care and hampers their capacity to contribute to society. Mental health well-being is closely associated to several Millennium Development Goals and economic development sectors including education, labour force participation, and productivity. Limited access to mental health care increases patient and family suffering. Unmet mental health needs have a negative effect on poverty reduction initiatives and economic development. Untreated mental conditions contribute to economic loss because they increase school and work absenteeism and dropout rates, healthcare expenditure, and unemployment. Addressing unmet mental health needs will require development of better mental health infrastructure and workforce and overall integration of mental and physical health services with primary care, especially in the developing nations. PMID:20528652

  6. Income-related health inequalities across regions in Korea

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction In addition to economic inequalities, there has been growing concern over socioeconomic inequalities in health across income levels and/or regions. This study measures income-related health inequalities within and between regions and assesses the possibility of convergence of socioeconomic inequalities in health as regional incomes converge. Methods We considered a total of 45,233 subjects (≥ 19 years) drawn from the four waves of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). We considered true health as a latent variable following a lognormal distribution. We obtained ill-health scores by matching self-rated health (SRH) to its distribution and used the Gini Coefficient (GC) and an income-related ill-health Concentration Index (CI) to examine inequalities in income and health, respectively. Results The GC estimates were 0.3763 and 0.0657 for overall and spatial inequalities, respectively. The overall CI was -0.1309, and the spatial CI was -0.0473. The spatial GC and CI estimates were smaller than their counterparts, indicating substantial inequalities in income (from 0.3199 in Daejeon to 0.4233 Chungnam) and income-related health inequalities (from -0.1596 in Jeju and -0.0844 in Ulsan) within regions. The results indicate a positive relationship between the GC and the average ill-health and a negative relationship between the CI and the average ill-health. Those regions with a low level of health tended to show an unequal distribution of income and health. In addition, there was a negative relationship between the GC and the CI, that is, the larger the income inequalities, the larger the health inequalities were. The GC was negatively related to the average regional income, indicating that an increase in a region's average income reduced income inequalities in the region. On the other hand, the CI showed a positive relationship, indicating that an increase in a region's average income reduced health inequalities in the

  7. Health Disparities Calculator: A Methodologically Rigorous Tool for Analyzing Inequalities in Population Health

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Susan; Percy-Laurry, Antoinette; Lewis, Denise; Glasgow, Russell

    2014-01-01

    Historically, researchers and policy planners have selected a single indicator to measure trends in social inequalities. A more rigorous approach is to review the literature and data, select appropriate inequality measures to address the research question, compute results from various indices, and graphically compare resulting trends. The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc, version 1.2.4; National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD) computes results from different indices and graphically displays them, making an arduous task easier, more transparent, and more accessible. PMID:25033114

  8. Health and social inequities in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, P; Mamboury, C; Minder, C E

    1990-01-01

    Despite standards of living and life expectancy amongst the highest in Europe, Switzerland exhibits fairly substantial social inequities in health. As regards male mortality by socio-economic group, these differentials are both marked and independent of cause of death. There is a wealth of information on morbidity and disability supporting the hypothesis that people in lower socio-economic groups tend to age faster and suffer more at younger ages. It is similarly evident that infants of low class mothers, particularly those unwed, underprivileged immigrant, are at excess risk. The Swiss results are of political and scientific interest in that they suggest that the average wealth of a community does not determine health differentials. PMID:2218617

  9. Health inequalities and infectious disease epidemics: a challenge for global health security.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Sandra Crouse; Kumar, Supriya

    2014-01-01

    In today's global society, infectious disease outbreaks can spread quickly across the world, fueled by the rapidity with which we travel across borders and continents. Historical accounts of influenza pandemics and contemporary reports on infectious diseases clearly demonstrate that poverty, inequality, and social determinants of health create conditions for the transmission of infectious diseases, and existing health disparities or inequalities can further contribute to unequal burdens of morbidity and mortality. Yet, to date, studies of influenza pandemic plans across multiple countries find little to no recognition of health inequalities or attempts to engage disadvantaged populations to explicitly address the differential impact of a pandemic on them. To meet the goals and objectives of the Global Health Security Agenda, we argue that international partners, from WHO to individual countries, must grapple with the social determinants of health and existing health inequalities and extend their vision to include these factors so that disease that may start among socially disadvantaged subpopulations does not go unnoticed and spread across borders. These efforts will require rethinking surveillance systems to include sociodemographic data; training local teams of researchers and community health workers who are able to not only analyze data to recognize risk factors for disease, but also use simulation methods to assess the impact of alternative policies on reducing disease; integrating social science disciplines to understand local context; and proactively anticipating shortfalls in availability of adequate healthcare resources, including vaccines. Without explicit attention to existing health inequalities and underlying social determinants of health, the Global Health Security Agenda is unlikely to succeed in its goals and objectives. PMID:25254915

  10. Health Inequalities and Infectious Disease Epidemics: A Challenge for Global Health Security

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Supriya

    2014-01-01

    In today's global society, infectious disease outbreaks can spread quickly across the world, fueled by the rapidity with which we travel across borders and continents. Historical accounts of influenza pandemics and contemporary reports on infectious diseases clearly demonstrate that poverty, inequality, and social determinants of health create conditions for the transmission of infectious diseases, and existing health disparities or inequalities can further contribute to unequal burdens of morbidity and mortality. Yet, to date, studies of influenza pandemic plans across multiple countries find little to no recognition of health inequalities or attempts to engage disadvantaged populations to explicitly address the differential impact of a pandemic on them. To meet the goals and objectives of the Global Health Security Agenda, we argue that international partners, from WHO to individual countries, must grapple with the social determinants of health and existing health inequalities and extend their vision to include these factors so that disease that may start among socially disadvantaged subpopulations does not go unnoticed and spread across borders. These efforts will require rethinking surveillance systems to include sociodemographic data; training local teams of researchers and community health workers who are able to not only analyze data to recognize risk factors for disease, but also use simulation methods to assess the impact of alternative policies on reducing disease; integrating social science disciplines to understand local context; and proactively anticipating shortfalls in availability of adequate healthcare resources, including vaccines. Without explicit attention to existing health inequalities and underlying social determinants of health, the Global Health Security Agenda is unlikely to succeed in its goals and objectives. PMID:25254915

  11. Reducing asthma disparities by addressing environmental inequities: a case study of regional asthma management and prevention's advocacy efforts.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Anne Kelsey; Ervice, Joel; Lorenzen, Kathryn; Prentice, Bob; White, Shannon

    2011-01-01

    Regional Asthma Management and Prevention describes its collaborative approach to address a social determinant of health--air quality--and the associated inequities that have led to asthma disparities impacting African American and Latino communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The strategies, aimed at decreasing diesel pollution in disproportionately impacted communities, span the levels of the socioecological model, with an emphasis on policy outcomes. Regional Asthma Management and Prevention describes how this work fits within a larger comprehensive approach to address asthma disparities encompassing several components, ranging from clinical management to environmental protection. PMID:21160331

  12. Poverty, inequality and a political economy of mental health.

    PubMed

    Burns, J K

    2015-04-01

    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

  13. Does Income Inequality Harm Health? New Cross-National Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beckfield, Jason

    2004-01-01

    The provocative hypothesis that income inequality harms population health has sparked a large body of research, some of which has reported strong associations between income inequality and population health. Cross-national evidence is frequently cited in support of this important hypothesis, but the hypothesis remains controversial, and the…

  14. How do young children expect others to address resource inequalities between groups?

    PubMed

    Elenbaas, Laura; Killen, Melanie

    2016-10-01

    Age-related changes in young children's expectations for others' resource allocation decisions were investigated. Children ages 3 to 6years (N=80) were introduced to an inequality of resources between two groups. Participants gave their expectations for (a) how a member of the group with more resources (advantaged group) and a member of the group with fewer resources (disadvantaged group) would evaluate the inequality (okay or not okay), (b) which group each of the two individuals would prefer (ingroup or outgroup), and (c) how each of the two individuals would allocate subsequent resources between the groups. Findings revealed children's differing expectations for how others would address resource inequalities based on group status. Children expected that if the disadvantaged group member evaluated the inequality negatively then he or she would reduce the disparity. But children expected that if the advantaged group member evaluated the inequality positively then he or she would increase the disparity. Furthermore, 5- and 6-year-olds, but not 3- and 4-year-olds, expected individuals to seek more for their ingroup if they preferred their ingroup over the outgroup. Different from previous research on children's own resource allocation decisions, these findings reveal the circumstances under which children expect others to perpetuate or attenuate resource inequalities between groups. PMID:27262524

  15. Social inequalities in health: a proper concern of epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Marmot, Michael; Bell, Ruth

    2016-04-01

    Social inequalities are a proper concern of epidemiology. Epidemiological thinking and modes of analysis are central, but epidemiological research is one among many areas of study that provide the evidence for understanding the causes of social inequalities in health and what can be done to reduce them. Understanding the causes of health inequalities requires insights from social, behavioral and biological sciences, and a chain of reasoning that examines how the accumulation of positive and negative influences over the life course leads to health inequalities in adult life. Evidence that the social gradient in health can be reduced should make us optimistic that reducing health inequalities is a realistic goal for all societies. PMID:27084546

  16. Urban air pollution and health inequities: a workshop report.

    PubMed Central

    2001-01-01

    Over the past three decades, an array of legislation with attendant regulations has been implemented to enhance the quality of the environment and thereby improve the public's health. Despite the many beneficial changes that have followed, there remains a disproportionately higher prevalence of harmful environmental exposures, particularly air pollution, for certain populations. These populations most often reside in urban settings, have low socioeconomic status, and include a large proportion of ethnic minorities. The disparities between racial/ethnic minority and/or low-income populations in cities and the general population in terms of environmental exposures and related health risks have prompted the "environmental justice" or "environmental equity" movement, which strives to create cleaner environments for the most polluted communities. Achieving cleaner environments will require interventions based on scientific data specific to the populations at risk; however, research in this area has been relatively limited. To assess the current scientific information on urban air pollution and its health impacts and to help set the agenda for immediate intervention and future research, the American Lung Association organized an invited workshop on Urban Air Pollution and Health Inequities held 22-24 October 1999 in Washington, DC. This report builds on literature reviews and summarizes the discussions of working groups charged with addressing key areas relevant to air pollution and health effects in urban environments. An overview was provided of the state of the science for health impacts of air pollution and technologies available for air quality monitoring and exposure assessment. The working groups then prioritized research needs to address the knowledge gaps and developed recommendations for community interventions and public policy to begin to remedy the exposure and health inequities. PMID:11427385

  17. Policies and interventions on employment relations and health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Quinlan, Michael; Muntaner, Carles; Solar, Orielle; Vergara, Montserrat; Eijkemans, Gerry; Santana, Vilma; Chung, Haejoo; Castedo, Antía; Benach, Joan

    2010-01-01

    The association between certain increasingly pervasive employment conditions and serious health inequalities presents a significant policy challenge. A critical starting point is the recognition that these problems have not arisen in a policy vacuum. Rather, policy frameworks implemented by governments over the past 35 years, in conjunction with corporate globalization (itself facilitated by neoliberal policies), have undermined preexisting social protection policies and encouraged the growth of health-damaging forms of work organization. After a brief description of the context in which recent developments should be viewed, this article describes how policies can be reconfigured to address health-damaging employment conditions. A number of key policy objectives and entry points are identified, with a summary of policies for each entry point, relating to particular employment conditions relevant to rich and poor countries. Rather than trying to elaborate these policy interventions in detail, the authors point to several critical issues in relation to these interventions, linking these to illustrative examples. PMID:20440972

  18. Traffic, Air Pollution, Minority and Socio-Economic Status: Addressing Inequities in Exposure and Risk

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, Gregory C.; Vadali, Monika L.; Kvale, Dorian L.; Ellickson, Kristie M.

    2015-01-01

    Higher levels of nearby traffic increase exposure to air pollution and adversely affect health outcomes. Populations with lower socio-economic status (SES) are particularly vulnerable to stressors like air pollution. We investigated cumulative exposures and risks from traffic and from MNRiskS-modeled air pollution in multiple source categories across demographic groups. Exposures and risks, especially from on-road sources, were higher than the mean for minorities and low SES populations and lower than the mean for white and high SES populations. Owning multiple vehicles and driving alone were linked to lower household exposures and risks. Those not owning a vehicle and walking or using transit had higher household exposures and risks. These results confirm for our study location that populations on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum and minorities are disproportionately exposed to traffic and air pollution and at higher risk for adverse health outcomes. A major source of disparities appears to be the transportation infrastructure. Those outside the urban core had lower risks but drove more, while those living nearer the urban core tended to drive less but had higher exposures and risks from on-road sources. We suggest policy considerations for addressing these inequities. PMID:25996888

  19. Tackling the wider social determinants of health and health inequalities: evidence from systematic reviews

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, M; Sowden, A; Wright, K; Whitehead, M; Petticrew, M

    2010-01-01

    Background There is increasing pressure to tackle the wider social determinants of health through the implementation of appropriate interventions. However, turning these demands for better evidence about interventions around the social determinants of health into action requires identifying what we already know and highlighting areas for further development. Methods Systematic review methodology was used to identify systematic reviews (from 2000 to 2007, developed countries only) that described the health effects of any intervention based on the wider social determinants of health: water and sanitation, agriculture and food, access to health and social care services, unemployment and welfare, working conditions, housing and living environment, education, and transport. Results Thirty systematic reviews were identified. Generally, the effects of interventions on health inequalities were unclear. However, there is suggestive systematic review evidence that certain categories of intervention may impact positively on inequalities or on the health of specific disadvantaged groups, particularly interventions in the fields of housing and the work environment. Conclusion Intervention studies that address inequalities in health are a priority area for future public health research. PMID:19692738

  20. Noise nuisance and health inequalities in Belgium: a population study

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Context Lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to live in contaminated environments. This may partly explain socioeconomic health inequalities. Aims Does noise nuisance contribute to socio-economic inequalities in subjective health? Method This research is based on the last Belgian census data carried out in 2001. We work on a 10% sample of the Belgian population. The data are processed through bivariate and multivariate analyses. We model poor subjective health in relation to exposure to noise nuisance and several socio-economic variables. Results The risk of poor subjective health increases with noise nuisance and is higher in lower socio-economic groups. Noise nuisance does contribute to health inequalities, particularly regarding type of housing and activity. These relations are stronger in urban areas. Conclusions Noise nuisance affects the subjective health status and contributes to health inequalities, particularly in urban areas. This suggests that public policies, particularly those related to environmental planning, should be driven also by environmental equity considerations.

  1. Rural Health Inequities and the Role of Cooperative Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andress, Lauri; Fitch, Cindy

    2016-01-01

    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.…

  2. Emerging Infections Program Efforts to Address Health Equity

    PubMed Central

    Vugia, Duc J.; Bennett, Nancy M.; Moore, Matthew R.

    2015-01-01

    The Emerging Infections Program (EIP), a collaboration between (currently) 10 state health departments, their academic center partners, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was established in 1995. The EIP performs active, population-based surveillance for important infectious diseases, addresses new problems as they arise, emphasizes projects that lead to prevention, and develops and evaluates public health practices. The EIP has increasingly addressed the health equity challenges posed by Healthy People 2020. These challenges include objectives to increase the proportion of Healthy People–specified conditions for which national data are available by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status as a step toward first recognizing and subsequently eliminating health inequities. EIP has made substantial progress in moving from an initial focus on monitoring social determinants exclusively through collecting and analyzing data by race/ethnicity to identifying and piloting ways to conduct population-based surveillance by using area-based socioeconomic status measures. PMID:26291875

  3. Does income inequality have lasting effects on health and trust?

    PubMed

    Rözer, Jesper Jelle; Volker, Beate

    2016-01-01

    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 for trust and health. Multilevel analyses of data from the combined World Values Survey and European Values Study that were collected between 1981 and 2014 support our prediction and show that income inequality is associated with ill health in young adults, in part because it reduces their social trust. The negative consequences of income inequality remain stable for a substantial period of life but eventually fade away and have no effect after age 36. PMID:26704353

  4. Measuring and decomposing oral health inequalities in an UK population

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Jing; Wildman, John; Steele, Jimmy

    2013-01-01

    Objectives With health inequalities high on the policy agenda, this study measures oral health inequalities in the UK. Methods We compare an objective clinical measure of oral health (number of natural teeth) with a self-reported measure of the impact of oral health (the Oral Health Impact Profile, OHIP) to establish whether the type of measure affects the scale of inequality measured. Gini coefficients and Concentration Indices (CIs) are calculated with subsequent decompositions using data from the 1998 UK Adult Dental Health Survey. Because the information on OHIP is only available on dentate individuals, analyses on the number of natural teeth are conducted for two samples – the entire sample and the sample with dentate individuals only, the latter to allow direct comparison with OHIP. Results We find considerable overall pure oral health inequalities (number of teeth: Gini = 0.68 (including edentate), Gini = 0.40 (excluding edentate); OHIP: Gini = 0.33) and income-related inequalities for both measures (number of teeth: CI = 0.35 (including edentate), CI = 0.15 (excluding edentate); OHIP: CI = 0.03), and the CI is generally higher for the number of teeth than for OHIP. There are differences across age groups, with CI increasing with age for the number of teeth (excluding edentate: 16–30 years: CI = 0.01, 65 + years: CI = 0.11; including edentate: 16–30 years: CI = 0.01, 65 + years: CI = 0.19). However, inequalities for OHIP were highest in the youngest age group (CI = 0.05). Number of teeth reflects the accumulation of damage over a lifetime, while OHIP records more immediate concerns. Conclusions There are considerable pure oral health inequalities and income-related oral health inequalities in the UK. Using sophisticated methods to measure oral health inequality, we have been able to compare inequality in oral health with inequality in general health. The results provide a benchmark for future comparisons but also indicate that the type of health

  5. New report highlights epidemic of tobacco and global health inequalities

    Cancer.gov

    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

  6. [Trends in social inequalities in health in Catalonia, Spain].

    PubMed

    Borrell, Carme; Palència, Laia; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Malmusi, Davide; Bartoll, Xavier; Puigpinós, Rosa

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this work is to analyze the evolution of social class inequalities in men and women in health status, health related behaviours and utilization of health services in Catalonia between 1994 and 2006. This is a study of trends based on the analysis of the Encuesta de Salud de Cataluña. To examine the association between 12 dependent variables and social class in each survey, robust Poisson regression models were fitted. People belonging to manual class showed the worst indicators. Over the period, social class inequalities in health status and health services utilisation tended to remain constant or to decrease (performing breast cancer screening). Conversely, inequalities in smoking increased. In Catalonia there are social class inequalities in health, among men and women, that tend to remain stable over the years. PMID:22310366

  7. Science for Reducing Health Inequalities Emerges From Social Justice Movements.

    PubMed

    Wing, Steve

    2016-05-01

    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. PMID:26936957

  8. Desperately seeking reductions in health inequalities: perspectives of UK researchers on past, present and future directions in health inequalities research.

    PubMed

    Garthwaite, Kayleigh; Smith, Katherine E; Bambra, Clare; Pearce, Jamie

    2016-03-01

    Following government commitments to reducing health inequalities from 1997 onwards, the UK has been recognised as a global leader in health inequalities research and policy. Yet health inequalities have continued to widen by most measures, prompting calls for new research agendas and advocacy to facilitate greater public support for the upstream policies that evidence suggests are required. However, there is currently no agreement as to what new research might involve or precisely what public health egalitarians ought to be advocating. This article presents an analysis of discussions among 52 researchers to consider the feasibility that research-informed advocacy around particular solutions to health inequalities may emerge in the UK. The data indicate there is a consensus that more should be been done to learn from post-1997 efforts to reduce health inequalities, and an obvious desire to provide clearer policy guidance in future.However, discussions as to where researchers should now focus their efforts and with whom researchers ought to be engaging reveal three distinct ways of approaching health inequalities, each of which has its own epistemological foundations. Such differences imply that a consensus on reducing health inequalities is unlikely to materialise. Instead, progress seems most likely if all three approaches are simultaneously enabled. PMID:27358991

  9. Philosophical problems with social research on health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, S P; Forbes, A

    2000-01-01

    This paper offers a realist critique of social research on health inequalities. A conspectus of the field of health inequalities research identifies two main research approaches: the positivist quantitative survey and the interpretivist qualitative 'case study'. We argue that both approaches suffer from serious philosophical limitations. We suggest that a turn to realism offers a productive 'third way' both for the development of health inequality research in particular and for the social scientific understanding of the complexities of the social world in general. PMID:11186025

  10. Social determinants of health and health inequities in Nakuru (Kenya)

    PubMed Central

    Muchukuri, Esther; Grenier, Francis R

    2009-01-01

    Background Dramatic inequalities dominate global health today. The rapid urban growth sustained by Kenya in the last decades has created many difficulties that also led to worsening inequalities in health care. The continuous decline in its Human Development Index since the 1990s highlights the hardship that continues to worsen in the country, against the general trend of Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines the health status of residents in a major urban centre in Kenya and reviews the effects of selected social determinants on local health. Methods Through field surveys, focus group discussions and a literature review, this study canvasses past and current initiatives and recommends priority actions. Results Areas identified which unevenly affect the health of the most vulnerable segments of the population were: water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, food environments, housing, the organization of health care services and transportation. Conclusion The use of a participatory method proved to be a useful approach that could benefit other urban centres in their analysis of social determinants of health. PMID:19439105

  11. Using local authority data for action on health inequalities: the Caerphilly Health and Social Needs Study.

    PubMed Central

    Fone, David; Jones, Andrew; Watkins, John; Lester, Nathan; Cole, Jane; Thomas, Gary; Webber, Margaret; Coyle, Edward

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Primary care organisations in the United Kingdom have been given new and challenging population health responsibilities to improve health and address health inequality in local communities through partnership working with local authorities. This requires robust health and social needs assessment data for effective local planning. AIM: To assess the use and value of local authority data shared through partnership working between Caerphilly Local Health Group and Caerphilly County Borough Council. DESIGN OF STUDY: Cross-sectional analysis of aggregate electoral division data. SETTING: Caephilly County Borough, south-east Wales. METHOD: Local authority datasets identified were categorised into one of six domains: income, unemployment, housing, health, education, and social services. Data were presented at electoral division level as rates in thematic maps and correlations between the variables within and between each domain were explored using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, with particular focus on children in families. Local planning documents were scrutinised to ascertain the use and value of the data. RESULTS: A broad range of data described a comprehensive picture of health and social inequalities within the borough. Multiple deprivation tended to cluster in electoral divisions, particularly for data relating to children, painting an overwhelming picture of inequality in life chances. The data were used in a wide range of local partnership planning initiatives, including the Health Improvement Programme, Children's Services Plan, and a successful Healthy Living Centre bid. CONCLUSION: Local authority data can help primary care organisations in a population approach to needs assessment for use in local partnership planning targeted at reducing health inequalities. PMID:12392118

  12. What Causes Environmental Inequalities and Related Health Effects? An Analysis of Evolving Concepts

    PubMed Central

    Kruize, Hanneke; Droomers, Mariël; van Kamp, Irene; Ruijsbroek, Annemarie

    2014-01-01

    Early environmental justice studies were exposure-oriented, lacked an integrated approach, and did not address the health impact of environmental inequalities. A coherent conceptual framework, needed to understand and tackle environmental inequalities and the related health effects, was lacking. We analyzed the more recent environmental justice literature to find out how conceptual insights have evolved. The conceptual framework of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) was analyzed for additional explanations for environmental inequalities and the related health effects. This paper points out that recent environmental justice studies have broadened their scope by incorporating a broader set of physical and social environmental indicators, and by focusing on different geographic levels and on health impacts of environmental inequalities. The CSDH framework provided additional elements such as the role of structural determinants, the role of health-related behavior in relation to the physical and social environment, access to health care, as well as the life course perspective. Incorporating elements of the CSDH framework into existing environmental justice concepts, and performing more empirical research on the interactions between the different determinants at different geographical levels would further improve our understanding of environmental inequalities and their health effects and offer new opportunities for policy action. PMID:24886752

  13. Global oral health inequalities: task group--periodontal disease.

    PubMed

    Jin, L J; Armitage, G C; Klinge, B; Lang, N P; Tonetti, M; Williams, R C

    2011-05-01

    Periodontal diseases constitute one of the major global oral health burdens, and periodontitis remains a major cause of tooth loss in adults worldwide. The World Health Organization recently reported that severe periodontitis exists in 5-20% of adult populations, and most children and adolescents exhibit signs of gingivitis. Likely reasons to account for these prevalent diseases include genetic, epigenetic, and environmental risk factors, as well as individual and socio-economic determinants. Currently, there are fundamental gaps in knowledge of such fundamental issues as the mechanisms of initiation and progression of periodontal diseases, which are undefined; inability to identify high-risk forms of gingivitis that progress to periodontitis; lack of evidence on how to prevent the diseases effectively; inability to detect disease activity and predict treatment efficacy; and limited information on the effects of integration of periodontal health as a part of the health care program designed to promote general health and prevent chronic diseases. In the present report, 12 basic, translational, and applied research areas have been proposed to address the issue of global periodontal health inequality. We believe that the oral health burden caused by periodontal diseases could be relieved significantly in the near future through an effective global collaboration. PMID:21490234

  14. Prioritising public health: a qualitative study of decision making to reduce health inequalities

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The public health system in England is currently facing dramatic change. Renewed attention has recently been paid to the best approaches for tackling the health inequalities which remain entrenched within British society and across the globe. In order to consider the opportunities and challenges facing the new public health system in England, we explored the current experiences of those involved in decision making to reduce health inequalities, taking cardiovascular disease (CVD) as a case study. Methods We conducted an in-depth qualitative study employing 40 semi-structured interviews and three focus group discussions. Participants were public health policy makers and planners in CVD in the UK, including: Primary Care Trust and Local Authority staff (in various roles); General Practice commissioners; public health academics; consultant cardiologists; national guideline managers; members of guideline development groups, civil servants; and CVD third sector staff. Results The short term target- and outcome-led culture of the NHS and the drive to achieve "more for less", combined with the need to address public demand for acute services often lead to investment in "downstream" public health intervention, rather than the "upstream" approaches that are most effective at reducing inequalities. Despite most public health decision makers wishing to redress this imbalance, they felt constrained due to difficulties in partnership working and the over-riding influence of other stakeholders in decision making processes. The proposed public health reforms in England present an opportunity for public health to move away from the medical paradigm of the NHS. However, they also reveal a reluctance of central government to contribute to shifting social norms. Conclusions It is vital that the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of all new and existing policies and services affecting public health are measured in terms of their impact on the social determinants of health

  15. Wealth inequality and health: a political economy perspective.

    PubMed

    Nowatzki, Nadine R

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22993961

  16. From causes to solutions - insights from lay knowledge about health inequalities

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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 expressed in the study focus and

  17. Reviving the 'double jeopardy' hypothesis: physical health inequalities, ethnicity and severe mental illness.

    PubMed

    Das-Munshi, Jayati; Stewart, Robert; Morgan, Craig; Nazroo, James; Thornicroft, Graham; Prince, Martin

    2016-09-01

    People with severe mental illness (SMI) experience a reduction in life expectancy of 15-20 years. Physical health and mortality experience may be even worse for ethnic minority groups with SMI, but evidence is limited. We suggest clinical, policy and research recommendations to address this inequality. PMID:27587757

  18. Who cares about health inequalities? Cross-country evidence from the World Health Survey

    PubMed Central

    King, Nicholas B; Harper, Sam; Young, Meredith E

    2013-01-01

    Reduction of health inequalities within and between countries is a global health priority, but little is known about the determinants of popular support for this goal. We used data from the World Health Survey to assess individual preferences for prioritizing reductions in health and health care inequalities. We used descriptive tables and regression analysis to study the determinants of preferences for reducing health inequalities as the primary health system goal. Determinants included individual socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, urban residence, education, marital status, household income, self-rated health, health care use, satisfaction with health care system) and country-level characteristics [gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, disability-free life expectancy, equality in child mortality, income inequality, health and public health expenditures]. We used logistic regression to assess the likelihood that individuals ranked minimizing inequalities first, and rank-ordered logistic regression to compare the ranking of other priorities against minimizing health inequalities. Individuals tended to prioritize health system goals related to overall improvement (improving population health and health care responsiveness) over those related to equality and fairness (minimizing inequalities in health and responsiveness, and promoting fairness of financial contribution). Individuals in countries with higher GDP per capita, life expectancy, and equality in child mortality were more likely to prioritize minimizing health inequalities. PMID:23059735

  19. The case for the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health to address gender identity.

    PubMed

    Pega, Frank; Veale, Jaimie F

    2015-03-01

    We analyzed the case of the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which did not address gender identity in their final report. We argue that gender identity is increasingly being recognized as an important social determinant of health (SDH) that results in health inequities. We identify right to health mechanisms, such as established human rights instruments, as suitable policy tools for addressing gender identity as an SDH to improve health equity. We urge the World Health Organization to add gender identity as an SDH in its conceptual framework for action on the SDHs and to develop and implement specific recommendations for addressing gender identity as an SDH. PMID:25602894

  20. Health and social cohesion: why care about income inequality?

    PubMed Central

    Kawachi, I.; Kennedy, B. P.

    1997-01-01

    Throughout the world, wealth and income are becoming more concentrated. Growing evidence suggests that the distribution of income-in addition to the absolute standard of living enjoyed by the poor-is a key determinant of population health. A large gap between rich people and poor people leads to higher mortality through the breakdown of social cohesion. The recent surge in income inequality in many countries has been accompanied by a marked increase in the residential concentration of poverty and affluence. Residential segregation diminishes the opportunities for social cohesion. Income inequality has spillover effects on society at large, including increased rates of crime and violence, impeded productivity and economic growth, and the impaired functioning of representative democracy. The extent of inequality in society is often a consequence of explicit policies and public choice. Reducing income inequality offers the prospect of greater social cohesiveness and better population health. PMID:9112854

  1. An analytic approach for describing and prioritizing health inequalities at the local level in Canada: a descriptive study

    PubMed Central

    Neudorf, Cory; Fuller, Daniel; Cushon, Jennifer; Glew, Riley; Turner, Hollie; Ugolini, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Background: We present the health inequalities analytic approach used by the Saskatoon Health Region to examine health equity. Our aim was to develop a method that will enable health regions to prioritize action on health inequalities. Methods: Data from admissions to hospital, physician billing, reportable diseases, vital statistics and childhood immunizations in the city of Saskatoon were analyzed for the years ranging from 1995 to 2011. Data were aggregated to the dissemination area level. The Pampalon deprivation index was used as the measure of socioeconomic status. We calculated annual rates per 1000 people for each outcome. Rate ratios, rate differences, area-level concentration curves and area-level concentration coefficients quantified inequality. An Inequalities Prioritization Matrix was developed to prioritize action for the outcomes showing the greatest inequality. The outcomes measured were cancer, intentional self-harm, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, injury, stroke, chlamydia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, high birth weight, low birth weight, teen abortion, teen pregnancy, infant mortality and all-cause mortality. Results: According to the Inequalities Prioritization Matrix, injuries and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the first and second priorities, respectively, that needed to be addressed related to inequalities in admissions to hospital. For physician billing, mental disorders and diabetes were high-priority areas. Differences in teen pregnancy and all-cause mortality were the most unequal in the vital statistics data. For communicable diseases, hepatitis C was the highest priority. Interpretation: Our findings show that health inequalities exist at the local level and that a method can be developed to prioritize action on these inequalities. Policies should consider health inequalities and adopt population-based and targeted actions to reduce inequalities. PMID:27022600

  2. Promoting health equity: WHO health inequality monitoring at global and national levels

    PubMed Central

    Hosseinpoor, Ahmad Reza; Bergen, Nicole; Schlotheuber, Anne

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26387506

  3. Simulation Models for Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Speybroeck, Niko; Van Malderen, Carine; Harper, Sam; Müller, Birgit; Devleesschauwer, Brecht

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24192788

  4. A review of equity issues in quantitative studies on health inequalities: the case of asthma in adults

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The term 'inequities' refers to avoidable differences rooted in injustice. This review examined whether or not, and how, quantitative studies identifying inequalities in risk factors and health service utilization for asthma explicitly addressed underlying inequities. Asthma was chosen because recent decades have seen strong increases in asthma prevalence in many international settings, and inequalities in risk factors and related outcomes. Methods A review was conducted of studies that identified social inequalities in asthma-related outcomes or health service use in adult populations. Data were extracted on use of equity terms (objective evidence), and discussion of equity issues without using the exact terms (subjective evidence). Results Of the 219 unique articles retrieved, 21 were eligible for inclusion. None used the terms equity/inequity. While all but one article traced at least partial pathways to inequity, only 52% proposed any intervention and 55% of these interventions focused exclusively on the more proximal, clinical level. Conclusions Without more in-depth and systematic examination of inequities underlying asthma prevalence, quantitative studies may fail to provide the evidence required to inform equity-oriented interventions to address underlying circumstances restricting opportunities for health. PMID:21749720

  5. [Social inequalities in health and primary care. SESPAS Report 2012].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Aguado, Ildefonso; Santaolaya Cesteros, María; Campos Esteban, Pilar

    2012-03-01

    The health system is a social determinant of health. Although not the most important determinant of health, the health system's potential contribution to reducing social inequalities in health should not be underestimated. Due to its characteristics, primary health care is well placed to attain equity in health. To make progress in achieving this goal, the main measures to be considered are the removal of barriers to access to services, the provision of care proportionate to need, and engagement in intersectoral work. This article reviews the background and framework for action to tackle social inequalities in health and provides a summary of the primary health care actions that could help to reduce social inequalities in health and are mentioned in the most important national and international documents on health policy. We hope to stimulate debate, promote research in the field and encourage implementation. The proposals are grouped in the following five intervention lines: information systems; participation; training; intersectoral work; and reorientation of health care. Each intervention is ordered according to its targets (population and civil society; primary health team; health center and health area management; and health policy decision-makers). PMID:22321945

  6. Inequalities in health, inequalities in health care: four generations of discussion about justice and cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Powers, Madison; Faden, Ruth

    2000-06-01

    The focus of questions of justice in health policy has shifted during the last 20 years, beginning with questions about rights to health care, and then, by the late 1980s, turning to issues of rationing. More recently, attention has focused on alternatives to cost-effectiveness analysis. In addition, health inequalities, and not just inequalities in access to health care, have become the subject of moral analysis. This article examines how such trends have transformed the philosophical landscape and encouraged some in bioethics to seek guidance on normative questions from outside of the contours of traditional philosophical arguments about justice. PMID:11658248

  7. Inequalities in self-reported health within Spanish Regional Health Services: devolution re-examined?

    PubMed

    Costa-i-Font, Joan

    2005-01-01

    There is evidence of small inter-regional inequalities in both health and health expenditure both before and after the decentralization of the Spanish National Health Service (Spanish NHS). However, it still has not been established whether devolution has exerted any influence on the development of intra-regional inequalities in health. This study examines the existence of socioeconomic health inequalities within the different Spanish healthcare services, using concentration indices. Data were taken from the most recent Encuesta Nacional de Salud (Spanish National Health Survey, 1997) and self-perceived health was used to measure health. It is argued that while inter-regional inequalities in health may have been unaffected by decentralization, intra-regional inequalities may be the undesired consequences of an efficiency-based NHS. The results suggest that devolution may have helped pro-equity policies but only in areas where the private sector is small. PMID:15799456

  8. Defining and measuring health inequality: an approach based on the distribution of health expectancy.

    PubMed Central

    Gakidou, E. E.; Murray, C. J.; Frenk, J.

    2000-01-01

    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

  9. Macroeconomic policies and increasing social-health inequality in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Zaboli, Rouhollah; Seyedin, Seyed Hesam; Malmoon, Zainab

    2014-01-01

    Background: Health is a complex phenomenon that can be studied from different approaches. Despite a growing research in the areas of Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and health equity, effects of macroeconomic policies on the social aspect of health are unknown in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing of the social-health inequality in Iran. Methods: This study was a mixed method research. The study population consisted of experts dealing with social determinants of health. A purposive, stratified and non-random sampling method was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the data along with a multiple attribute decision-making method for the quantitative phase of the research in which the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was employed for prioritization. The NVivo and MATLAB softwares were used for data analysis. Results: Seven main themes for the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing the social-health inequality were identified. The result of TOPSIS approved that the inflation and economic instability exert the greatest impact on social-health inequality, with an index of 0.710 and the government policy in paying the subsidies with a 0.291 index has the lowest impact on social-health inequality in the country. Discussion: It is required to invest on the social determinants of health as a priority to reduce health inequality. Also, evaluating the extent to which the future macroeconomic policies impact the health of population is necessary. PMID:25197677

  10. How a universal health system reduces inequalities: lessons from England

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Shehzad; Doran, Tim; Ferguson, Brian; Fleetcroft, Robert; Goddard, Maria; Goldblatt, Peter; Laudicella, Mauro; Raine, Rosalind; Cookson, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Background Provision of universal coverage is essential for achieving equity in healthcare, but inequalities still exist in universal healthcare systems. Between 2004/2005 and 2011/2012, the National Health Service (NHS) in England, which has provided universal coverage since 1948, made sustained efforts to reduce health inequalities by strengthening primary care. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of trends in socioeconomic inequalities of primary care access, quality and outcomes during this period. Methods Whole-population small area longitudinal study based on 32 482 neighbourhoods of approximately 1500 people in England from 2004/2005 to 2011/2012. We measured slope indices of inequality in four indicators: (1) patients per family doctor, (2) primary care quality, (3) preventable emergency hospital admissions and (4) mortality from conditions considered amenable to healthcare. Results Between 2004/2005 and 2011/2012, there were larger absolute improvements on all indicators in more-deprived neighbourhoods. The modelled gap between the most-deprived and least-deprived neighbourhoods in England decreased by: 193 patients per family doctor (95% CI 173 to 213), 3.29 percentage points of primary care quality (3.13 to 3.45), 0.42 preventable hospitalisations per 1000 people (0.29 to 0.55) and 0.23 amenable deaths per 1000 people (0.15 to 0.31). By 2011/2012, inequalities in primary care supply and quality were almost eliminated, but socioeconomic inequality was still associated with 158 396 preventable hospitalisations and 37 983 deaths amenable to healthcare. Conclusions Between 2004/2005 and 2011/2012, the NHS succeeded in substantially reducing socioeconomic inequalities in primary care access and quality, but made only modest reductions in healthcare outcome inequalities. PMID:26787198

  11. Dependency denied: health inequalities in the neo-liberal era.

    PubMed

    Peacock, Marian; Bissell, Paul; Owen, Jenny

    2014-10-01

    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

  12. The Health Effects of Income Inequality: Averages and Disparities.

    PubMed

    Truesdale, Beth C; Jencks, Christopher

    2016-03-18

    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. PMID:26735427

  13. Research on health inequalities: A bibliometric analysis (1966-2014).

    PubMed

    Bouchard, Louise; Albertini, Marcelo; Batista, Ricardo; de Montigny, Joanne

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study is to report on research production and publications on health inequalities through a bibliometric analysis covering publications from 1966 to 2014 and a content analysis of the 25 most-cited papers. A database of 49,294 references was compiled from the search engine Web of Science. The first article appears in 1966 and deals with equality and civil rights in the United States and the elimination of racial discrimination in access to medical care. By 2003, the term disparity has gained in prominence relative to the term inequality which was initially elected by the researchers. Marmot's 1991 article is one of the five papers with the largest number of citations and contributes to the central perspective of social determinants of health and the British influence on the international status of research on social inequalities of health. PMID:26259012

  14. Addressing health literacy in patient decision aids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Effective use of a patient decision aid (PtDA) can be affected by the user’s health literacy and the PtDA’s characteristics. Systematic reviews of the relevant literature can guide PtDA developers to attend to the health literacy needs of patients. The reviews reported here aimed to assess: 1. a) the effects of health literacy / numeracy on selected decision-making outcomes, and b) the effects of interventions designed to mitigate the influence of lower health literacy on decision-making outcomes, and 2. the extent to which existing PtDAs a) account for health literacy, and b) are tested in lower health literacy populations. Methods We reviewed literature for evidence relevant to these two aims. When high-quality systematic reviews existed, we summarized their evidence. When reviews were unavailable, we conducted our own systematic reviews. Results Aim 1: In an existing systematic review of PtDA trials, lower health literacy was associated with lower patient health knowledge (14 of 16 eligible studies). Fourteen studies reported practical design strategies to improve knowledge for lower health literacy patients. In our own systematic review, no studies reported on values clarity per se, but in 2 lower health literacy was related to higher decisional uncertainty and regret. Lower health literacy was associated with less desire for involvement in 3 studies, less question-asking in 2, and less patient-centered communication in 4 studies; its effects on other measures of patient involvement were mixed. Only one study assessed the effects of a health literacy intervention on outcomes; it showed that using video to improve the salience of health states reduced decisional uncertainty. Aim 2: In our review of 97 trials, only 3 PtDAs overtly addressed the needs of lower health literacy users. In 90% of trials, user health literacy and readability of the PtDA were not reported. However, increases in knowledge and informed choice were reported in those studies

  15. [Gender inequality and reproductive health: a perspective for the program].

    PubMed

    Szasz, I

    1993-01-01

    Research on the influence of the social, economic, and cultural context on reproductive health is just beginning in Mexico. Because health risks and damage appear to be associated with living conditions of the population, the mechanisms through which social inequality affects reproductive health should be analyzed. Gender inequality is of particular importance to the study of reproductive health. The construction of feminine identity, centered on motherhood and the ability to relate to others, has decisive consequences for self-esteem, social valuation, and the capacity of women to make decisions and act in their own self interest. The obstacles that women face in making decisions about sexuality and reproduction have psychological, affective, and health costs. Women living in contexts of limited female autonomy are often pressured into early pregnancy and union and to having large families. The need to satisfy expectations for their gender and social position, fear of being devalued or abandoned, and the desire to cement affective relationships may restrict their capacity to exercise their sexuality with autonomy and to separate it from procreation. The low rates of use of contraceptives by men and the almost exclusive focus on women of contraceptive technologies and programs also reflect the inequality of the sexes. The lesser access to resources and exercise of power by women in the household may lead to nutritional disadvantages, and societal standards that tolerate extramarital sexual activity for men but not for women leave women vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. The health effects of gender inequalities are magnified by poverty and other forms of social disadvantage. The Program of Reproductive Health and Society aims to contribute to improved reproductive health in the Mexican population through study of the consequences of social and gender inequality. PMID:12289046

  16. Miles to Go Before We Sleep: Racial Inequities in Health

    PubMed Central

    Williams, David R.

    2013-01-01

    Large, pervasive and persistent racial inequalities exist in the onset, course and outcomes of illness. A comprehensive understanding of the patterning of racial disparities indicates that racism in both its institutional and individual forms remains an important determinant. Despite our extensive knowledge of the magnitude, trends and determinants of these social inequalities in health, there is still much that we need to learn about the forces that drive them. There is also an even greater opportunity to build the science base that would identify how to trigger the conditions that would facilitate needed societal change, and identify the optimal interventions that would confront and dismantle the societal conditions that create and sustain health inequalities. PMID:22940811

  17. Horizontal Inequity in Elderly Health Care Utilization: Evidence from India.

    PubMed

    Joe, William; Rudra, Shalini; Subramanian, S V

    2015-11-01

    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. PMID:26617450

  18. Horizontal Inequity in Elderly Health Care Utilization: Evidence from India

    PubMed Central

    Rudra, Shalini; Subramanian, S V

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26617450

  19. Mental health and inequity: a human rights approach to inequality, discrimination, and mental disability.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jonathan Kenneth

    2009-01-01

    Mental disability and mental health care have been neglected in the discourse around health, human rights, and equality. This is perplexing as mental disabilities are pervasive, affecting approximately 8% of the world population. Furthermore, the experience of persons with mental disability is one characterized by multiple interlinked levels of inequality and discrimination within society. Efforts directed toward achieving formal equality should not stand alone without similar efforts to achieve substantive equality for persons with mental disabilities. Structural factors such as poverty, inequality, homelessness, and discrimination contribute to risk for mental disability and impact negatively on the course and outcome of such disabilities. A human rights approach to mental disability means affirming the full personhood of those with mental disabilities by respecting their inherent dignity, their individual autonomy and independence, and their freedom to make their own choices. A rights-based approach requires us to examine and transform the language, terminology, and models of mental disability that have previously prevailed especially within health discourse. Such an approach also requires us to examine the multiple ways in which inequality and discrimination characterize the lives of persons with mental disabilities and to formulate a response based on a human rights framework. In this article, I examine issues of terminology, models of understanding mental disability, and the implications of international treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for our response to the inequalities and discrimination that exist within society--both within and outside the health care system. Finally, while acknowledging that health care professionals have a role to play as advocates for equality, non-discrimination, and justice, I argue that it is persons with mental disabilities themselves who have the right to exercise agency

  20. The wider determinants of inequalities in health: a decomposition analysis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21791075

  1. Health inequalities: promoting policy changes in utilizing transformation development by empowering African American communities in reducing health disparities.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Bernice Roberts

    2013-01-01

    Social inequalities in the United States resulted in negative health outcomes for the African Americans. Their stressful living conditions of poverty, discrimination, racism, abuse and rejection from American society contribute to their negative health outcomes. The lifestyles of African Americans have been influenced by poverty and prior injustices, which have molded their worldview of health and illness. Dr. Martin Luther King, national civil rights leader, brought about social change with much prayer; however, he went a step further with collective gatherings to include the power of non-violence massive public demonstrations. This paper is an analytical review of the literature addressing social inequalities impacting on health inequalities of African Americans resulting in health disparities. Policy changes are propose by implementing transformation development and community empowerment models as frameworks for community/public health nurses in guiding African American communities with addressing health disparities. These models empower members of the community to participate in a collaborative effort in making political and social changes to improve their overall health outcomes. PMID:24575590

  2. Changing health inequalities in east and west Germany since unification.

    PubMed

    Nolte, Ellen; McKee, Martin

    2004-01-01

    The unification of Germany in 1990 brought about substantial social and economic changes in its eastern part, with new uncertainties and, despite increasing overall income, rising inequality. This paper explores the potential impact on health of these changes during the 1990s, looking specifically at income-related health inequalities in east and west Germany and its modulation by psychosocial factors. We used data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) for the years 1992 and 1997, including individuals aged 25+. We investigated changes in self-perceived health in the two parts of Germany and its socio-economic and psychosocial determinants. Analyses estimated odds ratios of less than good health using logistic regression. In 1992, 47% of east Germans rated their health worse than good compared with 54% in the west. By 1997, the east-west gap in self-rated health had disappeared, with the prevalence of poor health increasing to 56% in both parts. Income and education were important determinants of health in east and west, with, in the age-sex-adjusted model, those having available less than 60% of median equivalent income being at increased risk of poor health in 1992 (OR(east) 2.39, 1.45-3.94; OR(west) 2.04, 1.65-2.52). Addition of education reduced the strength of this relationship only slightly. In the west, income-related health inequalities widened between 1992 and 1997 yet the initially stronger gradient declined in the east, despite an overall increase in income inequality (OR(east) 1.63, 1.04-2.56; OR(west) 2.65, 2.19-3.21). The impact of education remained stable. Psychosocial variables were important determinants, mediating the effects of income, with leisure-cultural social involvement exerting the strongest effect in both east and west.The results show that, unlike in the west, the overall increase in income inequality in east Germany between 1992 and 1997 was not accompanied by a simultaneous increase in income-related health inequalities. This

  3. Determinants of MSK health and disability--social determinants of inequities in MSK health.

    PubMed

    Guillemin, Francis; Carruthers, Erin; Li, Linda C

    2014-06-01

    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. PMID

  4. Health inequalities, physician citizens and professional medical associations: an Australian case study

    PubMed Central

    Furler, John; Harris, Elizabeth; Harris, Mark; Naccarella, Lucio; Young, Doris; Snowdon, Teri

    2007-01-01

    stakeholder and practicing member constituencies. This is an important and necessary step in defining an agreed role for the profession in addressing health inequalities. PMID:17697318

  5. Trends in public health policies addressing violence against women

    PubMed Central

    Loría, Kattia Rojas; Rosado, Teresa Gutiérrez; Espinosa, Leonor María Cantera; Marrochi, Leda María Marenco; Sánchez, Anna Fernández

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To analyze the content of policies and action plans within the public healthcare system that addresses the issue of violence against women. METHODS A descriptive and comparative study was conducted on the health policies and plans in Catalonia and Costa Rica from 2005 to 2011. It uses a qualitative methodology with documentary analysis. It is classified by topics that describe and interpret the contents. We considered dimensions, such as principles, strategies, concepts concerning violence against women, health trends, and evaluations. RESULTS Thirteen public policy documents were analyzed. In both countries’ contexts, we have provided an overview of violence against women as a problem whose roots are in gender inequality. The strategies of gender policies that address violence against women are cultural exchange and institutional action within the public healthcare system. The actions of the healthcare sector are expanded into specific plans. The priorities and specificity of actions in healthcare plans were the distinguishing features between the two countries. CONCLUSIONS The common features of the healthcare plans in both the counties include violence against women, use of protocols, detection tasks, care and recovery for women, and professional self-care. Catalonia does not consider healthcare actions with aggressors. Costa Rica has a lower specificity in conceptualization and protocol patterns, as well as a lack of updates concerning health standards in Catalonia. PMID:25210820

  6. Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities: methods, challenges and applications.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Martin; Allanson, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Socioeconomic inequalities in health are an important research area in health economics and public health. The concentration index has become a well-established measure of income-related health inequalities, and a number of approaches to identify potential causes of health inequalities exist. With the increasing availability of suitable longitudinal data, more sophisticated approaches to monitor inequalities and to identify potential causal relationships between socioeconomic status and health evolved. We first review the concentration index and some more basic approaches to explain health inequalities. We then discuss advantages and potential shortcomings of "static" and "dynamic" health inequality measures. We review different concepts of health and socioeconomic mobility, as well as recent studies on the life course perspective and economic changes. Our aim is to provide an overview of the concepts and empirical methodologies in the current literature, and to guide interested researchers in their choice of an appropriate inequality measure. PMID:26588093

  7. Aboriginal health promotion through addressing employment discrimination.

    PubMed

    Ferdinand, Angeline S; Paradies, Yin; Perry, Ryan; Kelaher, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) program aimed to improve the mental health of Aboriginal Victorians by addressing racial discrimination and facilitating social and economic participation. As part of LEAD, Whittlesea Council adopted the Aboriginal Employment Pathways Strategy (AEPS) to increase Aboriginal employment and retention within the organisation. The Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training Program was developed to build internal cultural competency and skills in recruiting and retaining Aboriginal staff. Analysis of surveys conducted before (pre; n=124) and after (post; n=107) the training program indicated a significant increase in participant understanding across all program objectives and in support of organisational policies to improve Aboriginal recruitment and retention. Participants ended the training with concrete ideas about intended changes, as well as how these changes could be supported by their supervisors and the wider organisation. Significant resources have since been allocated to implementing the AEPS over 5 years. In line with principles underpinning the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-23, particularly the focus on addressing racism as a determinant of health, this paper explores the AEPS and training program as promising approaches to health promotion through addressing barriers to Aboriginal employment. Possible implications for other large organisations are also considered. PMID:25155236

  8. Developing Social Marketing Capacity to Address Health Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitelaw, S.; Smart, E.; Kopela, J.; Gibson, T.; King, V.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Social marketing is increasingly being seen as a potentially effective means of pursuing health education practice generally and within various specific areas such as mental health and wellbeing and more broadly in tackling health inequalities. This paper aims to report and reflect on the authors' experiences of undertaking a health…

  9. The wealthy get healthy, the poor get poorly? Lay perceptions of health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Rosemary; Kitzinger, Jenny; Hunt, Kate

    2006-05-01

    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. PMID:16300870

  10. Utility and limitations of measures of health inequities: a theoretical perspective

    PubMed Central

    Alonge, Olakunle; Peters, David H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary box 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

  11. Addressing Risks to Advance Mental Health Research

    PubMed Central

    Iltis, Ana S.; Misra, Sahana; Dunn, Laura B.; Brown, Gregory K.; Campbell, Amy; Earll, Sarah A.; Glowinski, Anne; Hadley, Whitney B.; Pies, Ronald; DuBois, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Risk communication and management are essential to the ethical conduct of research, yet addressing risks may be time consuming for investigators and institutional review boards (IRBs) may reject study designs that appear too risky. This can discourage needed research, particularly in higher risk protocols or those enrolling potentially vulnerable individuals, such as those with some level of suicidality. Improved mechanisms for addressing research risks may facilitate much needed psychiatric research. This article provides mental health researchers with practical approaches to: 1) identify and define various intrinsic research risks; 2) communicate these risks to others (e.g., potential participants, regulatory bodies, society); 3) manage these risks during the course of a study; and 4) justify the risks. Methods As part of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded scientific meeting series, a public conference and a closed-session expert panel meeting were held on managing and disclosing risks in mental health clinical trials. The expert panel reviewed the literature with a focus on empirical studies and developed recommendations for best practices and further research on managing and disclosing risks in mental health clinical trials. IRB review was not required because there were no human subjects. The NIMH played no role in developing or reviewing the manuscript. Results Challenges, current data, practical strategies, and topics for future research are addressed for each of four key areas pertaining to management and disclosure of risks in clinical trials: identifying and defining risks, communicating risks, managing risks during studies, and justifying research risks. Conclusions Empirical data on risk communication, managing risks, and the benefits of research can support the ethical conduct of mental health research and may help investigators better conceptualize and confront risks and to gain IRB approval. PMID:24173618

  12. Understanding Health Disparities and Inequities Faced by Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ouellette-Kuntz, Helene

    2005-01-01

    Background: There is an increasing interest in the notion of health disparities, inequities and inequalities in Canada and elsewhere. In Canada, individuals with disabilities represent one of six groups identified as particularly vulnerable to health disparities. Method: This paper combines the literature related to the concepts of inequity and…

  13. Income-related inequality in health and health-related behaviour: exploring the equalisation hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Vallejo-Torres, Laura; Hale, Daniel; Morris, Stephen; Viner, Russell M

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous studies have found the socioeconomic gradient in health among adolescents to be lower than that observed during childhood and adulthood. The aim of this study was to examine income-related inequalities in health and health-related behaviour across the lifespan in England to explore ‘equalisation’ in adolescence. Methods We used five years of data (2006–2010) from the Health Survey for England to explore inequalities in six indicators: self-assessed general health, longstanding illness, limiting longstanding illness, psychosocial wellbeing, obesity and smoking status. We ran separate analyses by age/gender groups. Inequality was measured using concentration indices. Results Our findings for longstanding illnesses, psychosocial wellbeing and obesity were consistent with the equalisation hypothesis. For these indicators, the extent of income-related inequality was lower among late adolescents (16–19 years) and young adults (20–24 years) compared to children and young adolescents (under 15 years), mid- and late-adults (25–44 and 45–64 years) and the elderly (65+ years). The remaining indicators showed lower inequality among adolescents compared to adults, but higher inequality when compared with children. Conclusions Our work shows that inequalities occur across the life-course but that for some health issues there may be a period of equalisation in late adolescence and early adulthood. PMID:24619989

  14. Technological innovation and inequality in health.

    PubMed

    Glied, Sherry; Lleras-Muney, Adriana

    2008-08-01

    The effect of education on health has been increasing over the past several decades. We hypothesize that this increasing disparity is related to health-related technical progress: more-educated people are the first to take advantage of technological advances that improve health. We test this hypothesis using data on disease-specific mortality rates for 1980 and 1990, and cancer registry data for 1973-1993. We estimate education gradients in mortality using compulsory schooling as a measure of education. We then relate these gradients to two measures of health-related innovation: the number of active drug ingredients available to treat a disease, and the rate of change in mortality from that disease. We find that more-educated individuals have a greater survival advantage in those diseases for which there has been more health-related technological progress. PMID:18939670

  15. Social inequalities in health in nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Shively, Carol A.; Day, Stephen M.

    2014-01-01

    Overall health has been linked to socioeconomic status, with the gap between social strata increasing each year. Studying the impact of social position on health and biological functioning in nonhuman primates has allowed researchers to model the human condition while avoiding ethical complexities or other difficulties characteristic of human studies. Using female cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), our lab has examined the link between social status and stress for 30 years. Female nonhuman primates are especially sensitive to social stressors which can deleteriously affect reproductive health, leading to harmful consequences to their overall health. Subordinates have lower progesterone concentrations during the luteal phase of menstrual cycle, which is indicative of absence or impairment of ovulation. Subordinate animals receive more aggression, less affiliative attention, and are more likely to exhibit depressive behaviors. They also express higher stress-related biomarkers such as increased heart rates and lower mean cortisol. While no differences in body weight between dominant and subordinate animals are observed, subordinates have lower bone density and more visceral fat than their dominant counterparts. The latter increases risk for developing inflammatory diseases. Differences are also observed in neurological and autonomic function. A growing body of data suggests that diet composition may amplify or diminish physiological stress responses which have deleterious effects on health. More experimental investigation of the health effects of diet pattern is needed to further elucidate these differences in an ongoing search to find realistic and long-term solutions to the declining health of individuals living across the ever widening socioeconomic spectrum. PMID:27589665

  16. Social inequalities in health in nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Shively, Carol A; Day, Stephen M

    2015-01-01

    Overall health has been linked to socioeconomic status, with the gap between social strata increasing each year. Studying the impact of social position on health and biological functioning in nonhuman primates has allowed researchers to model the human condition while avoiding ethical complexities or other difficulties characteristic of human studies. Using female cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), our lab has examined the link between social status and stress for 30 years. Female nonhuman primates are especially sensitive to social stressors which can deleteriously affect reproductive health, leading to harmful consequences to their overall health. Subordinates have lower progesterone concentrations during the luteal phase of menstrual cycle, which is indicative of absence or impairment of ovulation. Subordinate animals receive more aggression, less affiliative attention, and are more likely to exhibit depressive behaviors. They also express higher stress-related biomarkers such as increased heart rates and lower mean cortisol. While no differences in body weight between dominant and subordinate animals are observed, subordinates have lower bone density and more visceral fat than their dominant counterparts. The latter increases risk for developing inflammatory diseases. Differences are also observed in neurological and autonomic function. A growing body of data suggests that diet composition may amplify or diminish physiological stress responses which have deleterious effects on health. More experimental investigation of the health effects of diet pattern is needed to further elucidate these differences in an ongoing search to find realistic and long-term solutions to the declining health of individuals living across the ever widening socioeconomic spectrum. PMID:27589665

  17. Reducing Health Inequities in the U.S.: Recommendations From the NHLBI's Health Inequities Think Tank Meeting.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27470459

  18. [Beyond the numbers barrier: racial inequalities and health].

    PubMed

    Lopes, Fernanda

    2005-01-01

    The point of departure for this article was the concept of health as a set of comprehensive and collective living conditions, influenced by the political, socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental context. The work thus shows that studies on health inequalities, disparities, or iniquities should extend beyond statistical data, since racism is not always explicit and measurable in social interactions. It is necessary to analyze the various life experiences of blacks and non-blacks in a given social condition, considering gender, age, place of residence, schooling, family origin, occupation, income, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, capacities and incapacities, social network, and possibilities for accessing social goods and services. Finally, the article lists guidelines that can assist in the major challenge of drafting public policies to combat and eradicate the immense inequalities between whites and blacks. PMID:16158167

  19. [Inequity and health in the workplace: exploring an emergent area].

    PubMed

    Haro-García, Luis; Aguilar-Madrid, Guadalupe; Juárez-Pérez, Cuauhtémoc A; Aguilar-Rodríguez, Sara D; Flores-Carbajal, Guillermo; Gea-Izquierdo, Enrique; Sánchez-Román, Francisco R

    2013-01-01

    Work, under fair employment and decent work, reduces inequities in health. Nowadays it seems, however, that obtaining and carrying out a job and worker performance take precedence over the aforementioned attributes. Workers are not only exposed to accidents, diseases caused by various agents, ergonomic and psychosocial risks but also affected by work modes imposed by the "wildmarket", such as the lack of social security benefits. Member countries of the International Labour Organization (ILO) should institute occupational health and safety policies in order to reduce the above mentioned inequities. Nonetheless, governments, which would guarantee such policies, seem to have become intermediaries in favor of large corporations. It is essential to define and strengthen actions that create jobs in decent and appropriate conditions with a view to generating equity, equality, and social well-being. PMID:24448947

  20. Inequity in India: the case of maternal and reproductive health

    PubMed Central

    Sanneving, Linda; Trygg, Nadja; Saxena, Deepak; Mavalankar, Dileep; Thomsen, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Background Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 is focused on reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health care. India has made extensive efforts to achieve MDG 5 and in some regions much progress has been achieved. Progress has been uneven and inequitable however, and many women still lack access to maternal and reproductive health care. Objective In this review, a framework developed by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) is used to categorize and explain determinants of inequity in maternal and reproductive health in India. Design A review of peer-reviewed, published literature was conducted using the electronic databases PubMed and Popline. The search was performed using a carefully developed list of search terms designed to capture published papers from India on: 1) maternal and reproductive health, and 2) equity, including disadvantaged populations. A matrix was developed to sort the relevant information, which was extracted and categorized based on the CSDH framework. In this way, the main sources of inequity in maternal and reproductive health in India and their inter-relationships were determined. Results Five main structural determinants emerged from the analysis as important in understanding equity in India: economic status, gender, education, social status (registered caste or tribe), and age (adolescents). These five determinants were found to be closely interrelated, a feature which was reflected in the literature. Conclusion In India, economic status, gender, and social status are all closely interrelated when influencing use of and access to maternal and reproductive health care. Appropriate attention should be given to how these social determinants interplay in generating and sustaining inequity when designing policies and programs to reach equitable progress toward improved maternal and reproductive health. PMID:23561028

  1. Child health inequalities and its dimensions in Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Murtaza, Fowad; Mustafa, Tajammal; Awan, Rabia

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Disaggregating health inequalities within Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2002-2010, by applying an urban health inequality index

    PubMed Central

    Bortz, Martin; Kano, Megumi; Ramroth, Heribert; Barcellos, Christovam; Weaver, Scott R.; Rothenberg, Richard; Magalhães, Monica

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26648367

  3. Health sector reform in Brazil: a case study of inequity.

    PubMed

    Almeida, C; Travassos, C; Porto, S; Labra, M E

    2000-01-01

    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. PMID:10707303

  4. Employment conditions and health inequities: a case study of Brazil.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-12-01

    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. PMID:22218587

  5. Socioeconomic inequalities in health in The Netherlands: impact of a five year research programme.

    PubMed Central

    Mackenbach, J. P.

    1994-01-01

    The attention paid to the socioeconomic inequalities in health in the Netherlands has increased greatly in recent years. A national research programme was started in 1989, and among other things, this has increased the yearly number of publications on socioeconomic inequalities in health by about 25%. The programme has increased awareness of inequalities among researchers and policy makers as well as improved the information available on health inequalities and the reasons for them. Cross party agreement on the need to reduce these inequalities has led to a consensus based approach which contrasts with the heavily politicised debate in countries such as the United Kingdom. PMID:7804057

  6. Is Income Inequality a Determinant of Population Health? Part 1. A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, John; Smith, George Davey; Harper, Sam; Hillemeier, Marianne; Ross, Nancy; Kaplan, George A; Wolfson, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This article reviews 98 aggregate and multilevel studies examining the associations between income inequality and health. Overall, there seems to be little support for the idea that income inequality is a major, generalizable determinant of population health differences within or between rich countries. Income inequality may, however, directly influence some health outcomes, such as homicide in some contexts. The strongest evidence for direct health effects is among states in the United States, but even that is somewhat mixed. Despite little support for a direct effect of income inequality on health per se, reducing income inequality by raising the incomes of the most disadvantaged will improve their health, help reduce health inequalities, and generally improve population health. PMID:15016244

  7. Reducing inequalities in health and life expectancy.

    PubMed

    Neve, Jane; Briers, Gail

    The risk of premature death in people with severe mental illness or learning disabilities is significantly higher than the general population. This is mostly caused by treatable long-term conditions. This article describes research conducted to establish the evidence base and draw up priorities for action, along with the competencies mental health and learning disability nurses need to improve service users' physical healthcare. PMID:27017674

  8. A systematic review of the relationships between social capital and socioeconomic inequalities in health: a contribution to understanding the psychosocial pathway of health inequalities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Ethnic inequalities in limiting health and self-reported health in later life revisited

    PubMed Central

    Evandrou, Maria; Falkingham, Jane; Feng, Zhixin; Vlachantoni, Athina

    2016-01-01

    Background It is well established that there are ethnic inequalities in health in the UK; however, such inequalities in later life remain a relatively under-researched area. This paper explores ethnic inequalities in health among older people in the UK, controlling for social and economic disadvantages. Methods This paper analyses the first wave (2009–2011) of Understanding Society to examine differentials in the health of older persons aged 60 years and over. 2 health outcomes are explored: the extent to which one's health limits the ability to undertake typical activities and self-rated health. Logistic regression models are used to control for a range of other factors, including income and deprivation. Results After controlling for social and economic disadvantage, black and minority ethnic (BME) elders are still more likely than white British elders to report limiting health and poor self-rated health. The ‘health disadvantage’ appears most marked among BME elders of South Asian origin, with Pakistani elders exhibiting the poorest health outcomes. Length of time resident in the UK does not have a direct impact on health in models for both genders, but is marginally significant for women. Conclusions Older people from ethnic minorities report poorer health outcomes even after controlling for social and economic disadvantages. This result reflects the complexity of health inequalities among different ethnic groups in the UK, and the need to develop health policies which take into account differences in social and economic resources between different ethnic groups. PMID:26787199

  10. Lagged Associations of Metropolitan Statistical Area- and State-Level Income Inequality with Cognitive Function: The Health and Retirement Study

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Daniel; Griffin, Beth Ann; Kabeto, Mohammed; Escarce, José; Langa, Kenneth M.; Shih, Regina A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Much variation in individual-level cognitive function in late life remains unexplained, with little exploration of area-level/contextual factors to date. Income inequality is a contextual factor that may plausibly influence cognitive function. Methods In a nationally-representative cohort of older Americans from the Health and Retirement Study, we examined state- and metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level income inequality as predictors of individual-level cognitive function measured by the 27-point Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m) scale. We modeled latency periods of 8–20 years, and controlled for state-/metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level and individual-level factors. Results Higher MSA-level income inequality predicted lower cognitive function 16–18 years later. Using a 16-year lag, living in a MSA in the highest income inequality quartile predicted a 0.9-point lower TICS-m score (β = -0.86; 95% CI = -1.41, -0.31), roughly equivalent to the magnitude associated with five years of aging. We observed no associations for state-level income inequality. The findings were robust to sensitivity analyses using propensity score methods. Conclusions Among older Americans, MSA-level income inequality appears to influence cognitive function nearly two decades later. Policies reducing income inequality levels within cities may help address the growing burden of declining cognitive function among older populations within the United States. PMID:27332986

  11. How society shapes the health gradient: work-related health inequalities in a comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Christopher B; Hall, Peter A; Siddiqi, Arjumand; Hertzman, Clyde

    2012-04-01

    Analyses in comparative political economy have the potential to contribute to understanding health inequalities within and between societies. This article uses a varieties of capitalism approach that groups high-income countries into coordinated market economies (CME) and liberal market economies (LME) with different labor market institutions and degrees of employment and unemployment protection that may give rise to or mediate work-related health inequalities. We illustrate this approach by presenting two longitudinal comparative studies of unemployment and health in Germany and the United States, an archetypical CME and LME. We find large differences in the relationship between unemployment and health across labor-market and institutional contexts, and these also vary by educational status. Unemployed Americans, especially of low education or not in receipt of unemployment benefits, have the poorest health outcomes. We argue for the development of a broader comparative research agenda on work-related health inequalities that incorporates life course perspectives. PMID:22429159

  12. Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries.

    PubMed

    van Doorslaer, Eddy; Koolman, Xander

    2004-07-01

    This paper provides new evidence on the sources of differences in the degree of income-related inequalities in self-assessed health in 13 European Union member states. It goes beyond earlier work by measuring health using an interval regression approach to compute concentration indices and by decomposing inequality into its determining factors. New and more comparable data were used, taken from the 1996 wave of the European Community Household Panel. Significant inequalities in health (utility) favouring the higher income groups emerge in all countries, but are particularly high in Portugal and - to a lesser extent - in the UK and in Denmark. By contrast, relatively low health inequality is observed in the Netherlands and Germany, and also in Italy, Belgium, Spain Austria and Ireland. There is a positive correlation with income inequality per se but the relationship is weaker than in previous research. Health inequality is not merely a reflection of income inequality. A decomposition analysis shows that the (partial) income elasticities of the explanatory variables are generally more important than their unequal distribution by income in explaining the cross-country differences in income-related health inequality. Especially the relative health and income position of non-working Europeans like the retired and disabled explains a great deal of 'excess inequality'. We also find a substantial contribution of regional health disparities to socio-economic inequalities, primarily in the Southern European countries. PMID:15259042

  13. Oral Health Inequalities: Relationships between Environmental and Individual Factors.

    PubMed

    Gupta, E; Robinson, P G; Marya, C M; Baker, S R

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26130261

  14. Public values, health inequality, and alternative notions of a "fair" response.

    PubMed

    Blacksher, Erika; Rigby, Elizabeth; Espey, Claire

    2010-12-01

    The fact that disadvantaged people generally die younger and suffer more disease than those with more resources is gaining ground as a major policy concern in the United States. Yet we know little about how public values inform public opinion about policy interventions to address these disparities. This article presents findings from an exploratory study of the public's values and priorities as they relate to social inequalities in health. Forty-three subjects were presented with a scenario depicting health inequalities by social class and were given the opportunity to alter the distribution of health outcomes. Participants' responses fell into one of three distributive preferences: (1) prioritize the disadvantaged, (2) equalize health outcomes between advantaged and disadvantaged groups, and (3) equalize health resources between advantaged and disadvantaged groups. These equality preferences were reflected in participants' responses to a second, more complex scenario in which trade-offs with other health-related values - maximizing health and prioritizing the sickest - were introduced. In most cases, participants moderated their distributive preferences to accommodate these other health goals, particularly to prioritize the allocation of resources to the very sick regardless of their socioeconomic status. PMID:21451157

  15. Trends and Inequities in Use of Maternal Health Care Services in Bangladesh, 1991-2011

    PubMed Central

    Anwar, Iqbal; Nababan, Herfina Y.; Mostari, Shabnam; Rahman, Aminur; Khan, Jahangir A. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Methods Monitoring use-inequity is important to measure progress in efforts to address health-inequities. Using data from six Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys (BDHS), we examine trends, inequities and socio-demographic determinants of use of maternal health care services in Bangladesh between 1991 and 2011. Findings Access to maternal health care services has improved in the last two decades. The adjusted yearly trend was 9.0% (8.6%-9.5%) for any antenatal care (ANC), 11.9% (11.1%-12.7%) for institutional delivery, and 18.9% (17.3%-20.5%) for C-section delivery which is above the WHO recommended rate of 5-15%. Use-inequity was significant for all three indicators but is reducing over time. Between 1991-1994 and 2007-2011 the rich:poor ratio reduced from 3.65 to 1.65 for ANC and from 15.80 to 6.77 for institutional delivery. Between 1995-1998 and 2007-2011, the concentration index reduced from 0.27 (0.25-0.29) to 0.15 (0.14-0.16) for ANC, and from 0.65 (0.60-0.71) to 0.39 (0.37-0.41) for institutional delivery during that period. For use of c-section, the rich:poor ratio reduced from 18.17 to 13.39 and the concentration index from 0.66 (0.57-0.75) to 0.47 (0.45-0.49). In terms of rich:poor differences, there was equity-gain for ANC but not for facility delivery or C-section delivery. All socio-demographic variables were significant predictors of use; of them, maternal education was the most powerful. In addition, the contribution of for-profit private sector is increasingly growing in maternal health. Conclusion Both access and equity are improving in maternal health. We recommend strengthening ongoing health and non-health interventions for the poor. Use-inequity should be monitored using multiple indicators which are incorporated into routine health information systems. Rising C-section rate is alarming and indication of C-sections should be monitored both in private and public sector facilities. PMID:25799500

  16. [Immigration and health: social inequalities in health disparities in the health system, in welfare and work].

    PubMed

    Pullini, A

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22187915

  17. [Wawared Peru: reducing health inequities and improving maternal health by improving information systems in health].

    PubMed

    Pérez-Lu, José E; Iguiñiz Romero, Ruth; Bayer, Angela M; García, Patricia J

    2015-01-01

    In developing countries, there are no high quality data to support decision-making and governance due to inadequate information collection and transmission processes. Our project WawaRed-Peru: "Reducing health inequities and improving maternal health by improving health information systems" aims to improve maternal health processes and indicators through the implementation of interoperability standards for maternal health information systems in order for decision makers to have timely, high quality information. Through this project, we hope to support the development of better health policies and to also contribute to reducing problems of health equity among Peruvian women and potentially women in other developing countries. The aim of this article is to present the current state of information systems for maternal health in Peru. PMID:26338401

  18. The effect of income growth and inequality on health inequality: Theory and empirical evidence from the European Panel.

    PubMed

    Van Ourti, Tom; van Doorslaer, Eddy; Koolman, Xander

    2009-05-01

    Governments of EU countries have declared that they would like to couple income growth with reductions in social inequalities in income and health. We show that, theoretically, both aims can be reconciled only under very specific conditions concerning the type of growth and the income responsiveness of health. We investigate whether these conditions were met in Europe in the 1990s using panel data from the European Community Household Panel. We demonstrate that (i) in most countries, the income elasticity of health was positive and increases with income, and (ii) that income growth was not pro-rich in most EU countries, resulting in small or negligible reductions in income inequality. The combination of both findings explains the modest increases we observe in income-related health inequality in the majority of countries. PMID:19185942

  19. Health inequalities in Scotland and England: the contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy.

    PubMed

    Smith, Katherine Elizabeth

    2007-04-01

    Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the field of health inequalities in order to: (i) review the available research evidence; (ii) assess the extent to which policies have been based on this research evidence; and (iii) evaluate the success (or failure) of policies to tackle health inequalities. Yet so far only limited attention has been given to exploring how key actors involved in research-policy dialogues understand the processes involved. In an attempt to address this gap, this article draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 58 key actors in the field of health inequalities research and policymaking in the UK to argue that it is ideas, rather than research evidence, which have travelled from research into policy. The descriptions of the varying journeys of these ideas fit three types--successful, partial and fractured--each of which is outlined with reference to one example. The paper then employs existing theories about research-policy relations and the movement of ideas in an attempt to illuminate and better understand the contrasting journeys. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that the third approach, which focuses on the entrepreneurial processes involved in the marketing of ideas, is most helpful in understanding the research findings, but that this needs to be discussed in relation to the political context within which negotiations take place. PMID:17222955

  20. The impact of primary healthcare in reducing inequalities in child health outcomes, Bogotá – Colombia: an ecological analysis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Colombia is one of the countries with the widest levels of socioeconomic and health inequalities. Bogotá, its capital, faces serious problems of poverty, social disparities and access to health services. A Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy was implemented in 2004 to improve health care and to address the social determinants of such inequalities. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the PHC strategy to reducing inequalities in child health outcomes in Bogotá. Methods An ecological analysis with localities as the unit of analysis was carried out. The variable used to capture the socioeconomic status and living standards was the Quality of Life Index (QLI). Concentration curves and concentration indices for four child health outcomes (infant mortality rate (IMR), under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of acute malnutrition in children under-5, and vaccination coverage for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) were calculated to measure socioeconomic inequality. Two periods were used to describe possible changes in the magnitude of the inequalities related with the PHC implementation (2003 year before - 2007 year after implementation). The contribution of the PHC intervention was computed by a decomposition analysis carried out on data from 2007. Results In both 2003 and 2007, concentration curves and indexes of IMR, under-5 mortality rate and acute malnutrition showed inequalities to the disadvantage of localities with lower QLI. Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccinations were more prevalent among localities with higher QLI in 2003 but were higher in localities with lower QLI in 2007. The variation of the concentration index between 2003 and 2007 indicated reductions in inequality for all of the indicators in the period after the PHC implementation. In 2007, PHC was associated with a reduction in the effect of the inequality that affected disadvantaged localities in under-5 mortality (24%), IMR (19%) and acute malnutrition (7%). PHC also

  1. Income inequality, social cohesion and the health status of populations: the role of neo-liberalism.

    PubMed

    Coburn, D

    2000-07-01

    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). PMID:10817476

  2. Addressing the social determinants of health through health system strengthening and inter-sectoral convergence: the case of the Indian National Rural Health Mission

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Amit Mohan; Chakraborty, Gautam; Yadav, Sajjan Singh; Bhatia, Salima

    2013-01-01

    Background At the turn of the 21st century, India was plagued by significant rural–urban, inter-state and inter-district inequities in health. For example, in 2004, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 24 points higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. To address these inequities, to strengthen the rural health system (a major determinant of health in itself) and to facilitate action on other determinants of health, India launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in April 2005. Methods Under the NRHM, Rs. 666 billion (US$12.1 billion) was invested in rural areas from April 2005 to March 2012. There was also a substantially higher allocation for 18 high-focus states and 264 high-focus districts, identified on the basis of poor health and demographic indicators. Other determinants of health, especially nutrition and decentralized action, were addressed through mechanisms like State/District Health Missions, Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committees, and Village Health and Nutrition Days. Results Consequently, in bigger high-focus states, rural IMR fell by 15.6 points between 2004 and 2011, as compared to 9 points in urban areas. Similarly, the maternal mortality rate in high-focus states declined by 17.9% between 2004–2006 and 2007–2009 compared to 14.6% in other states. Conclusion The article, on the basis of the above approaches employed under NRHM, proposes the NRHM model to ‘reduce health inequities and initiate action on SDH’. PMID:23458089

  3. Health care inequities in north India: Role of public sector in universalizing health care

    PubMed Central

    Prinja, Shankar; Kanavos, Panos; Kumar, Rajesh

    2012-01-01

    Background & objectives: Income inequality is associated with poor health. Inequities exist in service utilization and financing for health care. Health care costs push high number of households into poverty in India. We undertook this study to ascertain inequities in health status, service utilization and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditures in two States in north India namely, Haryana and Punjab, and Union Territory of Chandigarh. Methods: Data from National Sample Survey 60th Round on Morbidity and Health Care were analyzed by mean consumption expenditure quintiles. Indicators were devised to document inequities in the dimensions of horizontal and vertical inequity; and redistribution of public subsidy. Concentration index (CI), and equity ratio in conjunction with concentration curve were computed to measure inequity. Results: Reporting of morbidity and hospitalization rate had a pro-rich distribution in all three States indicating poor utilization of health services by low income households. Nearly 57 and 60 per cent households from poorest income quintile in Haryana and Punjab, respectively faced catastrophic OOP hospitalization expenditure at 10 per cent threshold. Lower prevalence of catastrophic expenditure was recorded in higher income groups. Public sector also incurred high costs for hospitalization in selected three States. Medicines constituted 19 to 47 per cent of hospitalization expenditure and 59 to 86 per cent OPD expenditure borne OOP by households in public sector. Public sector hospitalizations had a pro-poor distribution in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. Interpretation & conclusions: Our analysis indicates that public sector health service utilization needs to be improved. OOP health care expenditures at public sector institutions should to be curtailed to improve utilization of poorer segments of population. Greater availability of medicines in public sector and regulation of their prices provide a unique opportunity to reduce public

  4. Food Inequality Negatively Impacts Cardiac Health in Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Heidary, Fatemeh; Vaeze Mahdavi, Mohammad Reza; Momeni, Farshad; Minaii, Bagher; Rogani, Mehrdad; Fallah, Nader; Heidary, Roghayeh; Gharebaghi, Reza

    2008-01-01

    Background Individuals with lower socioeconomic status experience higher rates of mortality and are more likely to suffer from numerous diseases. While some studies indicate that humans who suffer from social inequality suffer generally worse health, to our knowledge no controlled experiments of this nature have been done in any species. Lipofuscin is a highly oxidized cross-linked aggregate consisting of oxidized protein and lipid clusters. This eminent terminal oxidation outcome accumulates within cells during aging process. Methodology/Principal Findings Thirty two rabbits were assigned into four groups randomly of eight each. The first group encountered food deprivation for eight weeks and was kept in an isolated situation. The second group was food deprived for eight weeks but encountered to other groups continuously. The third group suffered two weeks of deprivation and then received free access to food. The fourth group had free access to diet without any deprivation. All hearts were removed for histopathological evaluation. Cross-sections of hearts were examined by light microscopy for the presence of yellow-brown Lpofuscin pigment granules. Here we show that relative food deprivation can cause accumulation of Lipofuscin pigmentation. We find that cardiac Lipofuscin deposition increases the most in the inequitable condition in which food deprived individuals observe well-fed individuals. Conclusions/Significance Our findings demonstrate that a sense of inequality in food intake can promote aging more than food deprivation alone. These findings should be considered as a basis for further studies on the physiological mechanisms by which inequality negatively impacts health and well-being. PMID:19002245

  5. The persistence of health inequalities in modern welfare states: the explanation of a paradox.

    PubMed

    Mackenbach, Johan P

    2012-08-01

    The persistence of socioeconomic inequalities in health, even in the highly developed 'welfare states' of Western Europe, is one of the great disappointments of public health. Health inequalities have not only persisted while welfare states were being built up, but on some measures have even widened, and are not smaller in European countries with more generous welfare arrangements. This paper attempts to identify potential explanations for this paradox, by reviewing nine modern 'theories' of the explanation of health inequalities. The theories reviewed are: mathematical artifact, fundamental causes, life course perspective, social selection, personal characteristics, neo-materialism, psychosocial factors, diffusion of innovations, and cultural capital. Based on these theories it is hypothesized that three circumstances may help to explain the persistence of health inequalities despite attenuation of inequalities in material conditions by the welfare state: (1) inequalities in access to material and immaterial resources have not been eliminated by the welfare state, and are still substantial; (2) due to greater intergenerational mobility, the composition of lower socioeconomic groups has become more homogeneous with regard to personal characteristics associated with ill-health; and (3) due to a change in epidemiological regime, in which consumption behavior became the most important determinant of ill-health, the marginal benefits of the immaterial resources to which a higher social position gives access have increased. Further research is necessary to test these hypotheses. If they are correct, the persistence of health inequalities in modern European welfare states can partly be seen as a failure of these welfare states to implement more radical redistribution measures, and partly as a form of 'bad luck' related to concurrent developments that have changed the composition of socioeconomic groups and made health inequalities more sensitive to immaterial factors. It

  6. The role of urban municipal governments in reducing health inequities: A meta-narrative mapping analysis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    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, were most vocal regarding

  7. Are community midwives addressing the inequities in access to skilled birth attendance in Punjab, Pakistan? Gender, class and social exclusion

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pakistan is one of the six countries estimated to contribute to over half of all maternal deaths worldwide. To address its high maternal mortality rate, in particular the inequities in access to maternal health care services, the government of Pakistan created a new cadre of community-based midwives (CMW). A key expectation is that the CMWs will improve access to skilled antenatal and intra-partum care for the poor and disadvantaged women. A critical gap in our knowledge is whether this cadre of workers, operating in the private health care context, will meet the expectation to provide care to the poorest and most marginalized women. There is an inherent paradox between the notions of fee-for-service and increasing access to health care for the poorest who, by definition, are unable to pay. Methods/Design Data will be collected in three interlinked modules. Module 1 will consist of a population-based survey in the catchment areas of the CMW’s in districts Jhelum and Layyah in Punjab. Proportions of socially excluded women who are served by CMWs and their satisfaction levels with their maternity care provider will be assessed. Module 2 will explore, using an institutional ethnographic approach, the challenges (organizational, social, financial) that CMWs face in providing care to the poor and socially marginalized women. Module 3 will identify the social, financial, geographical and other barriers to uncover the hidden forces and power relations that shape the choices and opportunities of poor and marginalized women in accessing CMW services. An extensive knowledge dissemination plan will facilitate uptake of research findings to inform positive developments in maternal health policy, service design and care delivery in Pakistan. Discussion The findings of this study will enhance understanding of the power dynamics of gender and class that may underlie poor women’s marginalization from health care systems, including community midwifery care. One key

  8. Kalman Filtering with Inequality Constraints for Turbofan Engine Health Estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon, Dan; Simon, Donald L.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  9. Can we monitor socioeconomic inequalities in health? A survey of U.S. health departments' data collection and reporting practices.

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, N; Chen, J T; Ebel, G

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the potential for and obstacles to routine monitoring of socioeconomic inequalities in health using U.S. vital statistics and disease registry data, the authors surveyed current data collection and reporting practices for specific socioeconomic variables. METHODS: In 1996 the authors mailed a self-administered survey to all of the 55 health department vital statistics offices reporting data to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to determine what kinds of socioeconomic data they collected on birth and death certificates and in cancer, AIDS, and tuberculosis (TB) registries and what kinds of socioeconomic data were routinely reported in health department publications. RESULTS: Health departments routinely obtained data on occupation on death certificates and in most cancer registries. They collected data on educational level for both birth and death certificates. None of the databases collected information on income, and few obtained data on employment status, health insurance carrier, or receipt of public assistance. When socioeconomic data were collected, they were usually not included in published reports (except for mothers educational level in birth certificate data). Obstacles cited to collecting and reporting socioeconomic data included lack of resources and concerns about the confidentiality and accuracy of data. All databases, however, included residential addresses, suggesting records could be geocoded and linked to Census-based socioeconomic data. CONCLUSIONS: U.S. state and Federal vital statistics and disease registries should routinely collect and publish socioeconomic data to improve efforts to monitor trends in and reduce social inequalities in health. PMID:10822475

  10. Designing a Community-Based Lay Health Advisor Training Curriculum to Address Cancer Health Disparities

    PubMed Central

    Gwede, Clement K.; Ashley, Atalie A.; McGinnis, Kara; Montiel-Ishino, F. Alejandro; Standifer, Maisha; Baldwin, Julie; Williams, Coni; Sneed, Kevin B.; Wathington, Deanna; Dash-Pitts, Lolita; Green, B. Lee

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Racial and ethnic minorities have disproportionately higher cancer incidence and mortality than their White counterparts. In response to this inequity in cancer prevention and care, community-based lay health advisors (LHAs) may be suited to deliver effective, culturally relevant, quality cancer education, prevention/screening, and early detection services for underserved populations. Approach and Strategies Consistent with key tenets of community-based participatory research (CBPR), this project engaged community partners to develop and implement a unique LHA training curriculum to address cancer health disparities among medically underserved communities in a tricounty area. Seven phases of curriculum development went into designing a final seven-module LHA curriculum. In keeping with principles of CBPR and community engagement, academic–community partners and LHAs themselves were involved at all phases to ensure the needs of academic and community partners were mutually addressed in development and implementation of the LHA program. Discussion and Conclusions Community-based LHA programs for outreach, education, and promotion of cancer screening and early detection, are ideal for addressing cancer health disparities in access and quality care. When community-based LHAs are appropriately recruited, trained, and located in communities, they provide unique opportunities to link, bridge, and facilitate quality cancer education, services, and research. PMID:22982709

  11. Using a Transdisciplinary Model to Address Inequities in Field Placements for Teacher Candidates with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bargerhuff, Mary Ellen; Cole, Donna J.; Teeters, Laura

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the contradiction between articulated university policy on diversity/inclusion and actual practice with regard to field placements for teacher candidates with disabilities. Analysis of a unique case study involving a teacher candidate with traumatic brain injury illustrates the inequities of the traditional concern conference…

  12. Measuring total health inequality: adding individual variation to group-level differences

    PubMed Central

    Gakidou, Emmanuela; King, Gary

    2002-01-01

    Background Studies have revealed large variations in average health status across social, economic, and other groups. No study exists on the distribution of the risk of ill-health across individuals, either within groups or across all people in a society, and as such a crucial piece of total health inequality has been overlooked. Some of the reason for this neglect has been that the risk of death, which forms the basis for most measures, is impossible to observe directly and difficult to estimate. Methods We develop a measure of total health inequality – encompassing all inequalities among people in a society, including variation between and within groups – by adapting a beta-binomial regression model. We apply it to children under age two in 50 low- and middle-income countries. Our method has been adopted by the World Health Organization and is being implemented in surveys around the world; preliminary estimates have appeared in the World Health Report (2000). Results Countries with similar average child mortality differ considerably in total health inequality. Liberia and Mozambique have the largest inequalities in child survival, while Colombia, the Philippines and Kazakhstan have the lowest levels among the countries measured. Conclusions Total health inequality estimates should be routinely reported alongside average levels of health in populations and groups, as they reveal important policy-related information not otherwise knowable. This approach enables meaningful comparisons of inequality across countries and future analyses of the determinants of inequality. PMID:12379153

  13. [The other inequities in health care: A challenge for bioethics].

    PubMed

    Bórquez Polloni, B

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24582533

  14. Six employment conditions and health inequalities: a descriptive overview.

    PubMed

    Benach, Joan; Solar, Orielle; Vergara, Montserrat; Vanroelen, Christophe; Santana, Vilma; Castedo, Antía; Ramos, Javier; Muntaner, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Standard full-time permanent employment-providing a minimal degree of stability, income sustainability, workers' empowerment, and social protection-has declined in the high-income countries, while it was never the norm in the rest of the world. Consequently, work is increasingly affecting population health and health inequalities, not only as a consequence of harmful working conditions, but also because of employment conditions. Nevertheless, the health consequences of employment conditions are largely neglected in research. The authors describe five types of employment conditions that deviate from standard full-time permanent employment--precarious employment, unemployment, informal employment, forced employment or slavery, and child labor--and their health consequences, from a worldwide perspective. Despite obvious problems of measurement and international comparability, the findings show that, certainly in the low-income countries, these conditions are largely situated in informality, denying any possible standard of safety, protection, sustainability, and workers' rights. Considerable numbers of the world's working people are affected in geographically and socioeconomically unequal ways. This clearly relates nonstandard employment conditions to health equity consequences. In the future, governments and health agencies should establish more adequate surveillance systems, research programs, and policy awareness regarding the health effects of these nonstandard employment conditions. PMID:20440970

  15. Social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities in European cities: a scoping review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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 in European cities published in scientific journals. Methods Scoping review. The search was done in “PubMed” and the “Sociological Abstracts” database and was limited to articles published between 1995 and 2011. The inclusion criteria were: interventions had to take place in European cities and they had to state the reduction of health inequalities among their objectives. Results A total of 54 papers were included, of which 35.2% used an experimental design, and 74.1% were carried out in the United Kingdom. The whole city was the setting in 27.8% of them and 44.4% were based on promoting healthy behaviours. Adults and children were the most frequent target population and half of the interventions had a universal approach and the other half a selective one. Half of the interventions were evaluated and showed positive results. Conclusions Although health behaviours are not the main determinants of health inequalities, the majority of the selected documents were based on evaluations of interventions focusing on them. PMID:24564851

  16. Social class inequalities in health among occupational cohorts from Finland, Britain and Japan: a follow up study.

    PubMed

    Lahelma, Eero; Pietiläinen, Olli; Rahkonen, Ossi; Kivimäki, Mika; Martikainen, Pekka; Ferrie, Jane; Marmot, Michael; Shipley, Martin; Sekine, Michikazu; Tatsuse, Takashi; Lallukka, Tea

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether relative occupational social class inequalities in physical health functioning widen, narrow or remain stable among white collar employees from three affluent countries. Health functioning was assessed twice in occupational cohorts from Britain (1997-1999 and 2003-2004), Finland (2000-2002 and 2007) and Japan (1998-1999 and 2003). Widening inequalities were seen for British and Finnish men, whereas inequalities among British and Finnish women remained relatively stable. Japanese women showed reverse inequalities at follow up, but no health inequalities were seen among Japanese men. Health behaviours and social relations explained 4-37% of the magnitude in health inequalities, but not their widening. PMID:25545770

  17. Development of a Questionnaire and Cross-Sectional Survey of Patient eHealth Readiness and eHealth Inequalities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many speak of the digital divide, but variation in the opportunity of patients to use the Internet for health (patient eHealth readiness) is not a binary difference, rather a distribution influenced by personal capability, provision of services, support, and cost. Digital divisions in health have been addressed by various initiatives, but there was no comprehensive validated measure to know if they are effective that could be used in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) covering both non-Internet-users and the range of Internet-users. Objective The aim of this study was to develop and validate a self-completed questionnaire and scoring system to assess patient eHealth readiness by examining the spread of scores and eHealth inequalities. The intended use of this questionnaire and scores is in RCTs of interventions aiming to improve patient eHealth readiness and reduce eHealth inequalities. Methods Based on four factors identified from the literature, a self-completed questionnaire, using a pragmatic combination of factual and attitude questions, was drafted and piloted in three stages. This was followed by a final population-based, cross-sectional household survey of 344 people used to refine the scoring system. Results The Patient eHealth Readiness Questionnaire (PERQ) includes questions used to calculate four subscores: patients’ perception of (1) provision, (2) their personal ability and confidence, (3) their interpersonal support, and (4) relative costs in using the Internet for health. These were combined into an overall PERQ score (0-9) which could be used in intervention studies. Reduction in standard deviation of the scores represents reduction in eHealth inequalities. Conclusions PERQ appears acceptable for participants in British studies. The scores produced appear valid and will enable assessment of the effectiveness of interventions to improve patient eHealth readiness and reduce eHealth inequalities. Such methods need continued evolution and

  18. Health Inequalities through the Lens of Health Capital Theory: Issues, Solutions, and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Galama, Titus J.; van Kippersluis, Hans

    2013-01-01

    We 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 our own work, leads us to conclude that non-degenerate versions of the Grossman model (1972a;b) and its extensions can explain many salient stylized facts on health inequalities. Yet, further development is required in at least two directions. First, a childhood phase needs to be incorporated, in recognition of the importance of childhood endowments and investments in the determination of later-life socioeconomic and health outcomes. Second, a unified theory of joint investment in skill (or human) capital and in health capital could provide a basis for a theory of the relationship between education and health. PMID:24570580

  19. Uncovering Health Care Inequalities among Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward, Rolanda L.; Nichols, Amanda D.; Freedman, Ruth I.

    2010-01-01

    Even as attention is drawn to the increasing number of individuals who experience health inequalities in the United States, little is known about the health inequalities experienced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Current disability research mainly focuses on physical disabilities. This article discusses the health…

  20. Towards an Evidence-Based Approach to Tackling Health Inequalities: The English Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killoran, Amanda; Kelly, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This short paper considers the development of an evidence-based approach to tackling health inequalities. Inequalities in health in England at the beginning of the 21st century have widened and are stark. Despite overall improvements in death rates, the growing gap between social groups means that now some parts of England have the same levels of…

  1. The financial crisis, health and health inequities in Europe: the need for regulations, redistribution and social protection

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In 2009, Europe was hit by one of the worst debt crises in history. Although the Eurozone crisis is often depicted as an effect of government mismanagement and corruption, it was a consequence of the 2008 U.S. banking crisis which was caused by more than three decades of neoliberal policies, financial deregulation and widening economic inequities. Evidence indicates that the Eurozone crisis disproportionately affected vulnerable populations in society and caused sharp increases of suicides and deaths due to mental and behavioral disorders especially among those who lost their jobs, houses and economic activities because of the crisis. Although little research has, so far, studied the effects of the crisis on health inequities, evidence showed that the 2009 economic downturn increased the number of people living in poverty and widened income inequality especially in European countries severely hit by the debt crisis. Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession. Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides. Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs. These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis. In order to prevent a future financial downturn and promote a more equitable and sustainable society, European governments and international institutions need to adopt new regulations of banking and finance as well as policies of economic redistribution and investment in social protection. These policy changes, however, require the abandonment of the neoliberal ideology to craft a new global political economy where markets and gross

  2. The financial crisis, health and health inequities in Europe: the need for regulations, redistribution and social protection.

    PubMed

    De Vogli, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    In 2009, Europe was hit by one of the worst debt crises in history. Although the Eurozone crisis is often depicted as an effect of government mismanagement and corruption, it was a consequence of the 2008 U.S. banking crisis which was caused by more than three decades of neoliberal policies, financial deregulation and widening economic inequities.Evidence indicates that the Eurozone crisis disproportionately affected vulnerable populations in society and caused sharp increases of suicides and deaths due to mental and behavioral disorders especially among those who lost their jobs, houses and economic activities because of the crisis. Although little research has, so far, studied the effects of the crisis on health inequities, evidence showed that the 2009 economic downturn increased the number of people living in poverty and widened income inequality especially in European countries severely hit by the debt crisis. Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession. Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides.Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs. These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis. In order to prevent a future financial downturn and promote a more equitable and sustainable society, European governments and international institutions need to adopt new regulations of banking and finance as well as policies of economic redistribution and investment in social protection. These policy changes, however, require the abandonment of the neoliberal ideology to craft a new global political economy where markets and gross

  3. Health innovation networks to help developing countries address neglected diseases.

    PubMed

    Morel, Carlos M; Acharya, Tara; Broun, Denis; Dangi, Ajit; Elias, Christopher; Ganguly, N K; Gardner, Charles A; Gupta, R K; Haycock, Jane; Heher, Anthony D; Hotez, Peter J; Kettler, Hannah E; Keusch, Gerald T; Krattiger, Anatole F; Kreutz, Fernando T; Lall, Sanjaya; Lee, Keun; Mahoney, Richard; Martinez-Palomo, Adolfo; Mashelkar, R A; Matlin, Stephen A; Mzimba, Mandi; Oehler, Joachim; Ridley, Robert G; Senanayake, Pramilla; Singer, Peter; Yun, Mikyung

    2005-07-15

    Gross inequities in disease burden between developed and developing countries are now the subject of intense global attention. Public and private donors have marshaled resources and created organizational structures to accelerate the development of new health products and to procure and distribute drugs and vaccines for the poor. Despite these encouraging efforts directed primarily from and funded by industrialized countries, sufficiency and sustainability remain enormous challenges because of the sheer magnitude of the problem. Here we highlight a complementary and increasingly important means to improve health equity: the growing ability of some developing countries to undertake health innovation. PMID:16020723

  4. Social inequalities in health from Ottawa to Vancouver: action for fair equality of opportunity.

    PubMed

    Ridde, Valéry; Guichard, Anne; Houéto, David

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17685074

  5. Income redistribution is not enough: income inequality, social welfare programs, and achieving equity in health

    PubMed Central

    Starfield, Barbara; Birn, Anne‐Emanuelle

    2007-01-01

    Income inequality is widely assumed to be a major contributor to poorer health at national and subnational levels. According to this assumption, the most appropriate policy strategy to improve equity in health is income redistribution. This paper considers reasons why tackling income inequality alone could be an inadequate approach to reducing differences in health across social classes and other population subgroups, and makes the case that universal social programs are critical to reducing inequities in health. A health system oriented around a strong primary care base is an example of such a strategy. PMID:18000124

  6. Beyond 'beer, fags, egg and chips'? Exploring lay understandings of social inequalities in health.

    PubMed

    Popay, Jennie; Bennett, Sharon; Thomas, Carol; Williams, Gareth; Gatrell, Anthony; Bostock, Lisa

    2003-01-01

    This paper seeks to contribute to the limited body of work that has directly explored lay understandings of the causes of health inequalities. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodology, the views of people living in contrasting socio-economic neighbourhoods are compared. The findings support previous research in suggesting that lay theories about causality in relation to health inequalities, like lay concepts of health and illness in general, are multi-factorial. The findings, however, also illustrate how the ways in which questions about health and illness are asked shape people's responses. In the survey reported on here people had no problem offering explanations for health inequalities and, in response to a question asking specifically about area differences in health experience, people living in disadvantaged areas 'constructed' explanations which included, but went beyond, individualistic factors to encompass structural explanations that gave prominence to aspects of 'place'. In contrast, within the context of in-depth interviews, people living in disadvantaged areas were reluctant to accept the existence of health inequalities highlighting the moral dilemmas such questions pose for people living in poor material circumstances. While resisting the notion of health inequalities, however, in in-depth interviews the same people provided vivid accounts of the way in which inequalities in material circumstances have an adverse impact upon health. The paper highlights ways in which different methodologies provide different and not necessarily complementary understandings of lay perspectives on the causes of inequalities in health. PMID:14498942

  7. Telepsychiatry: addressing mental health needs in Georgia.

    PubMed

    Vought, R G; Grigsby, R K; Adams, L N; Shevitz, S A

    2000-10-01

    Creation of a comprehensive mental health telecommunications system to serve isolated persons in Georgia, resulting in a more equitable distribution of mental health resources, is the goal of the telepsychiatry program at the Medical College of Georgia. Although telepsychiatric consultation is not a new idea, the "distribution" of telepsychiatry through additional integrated telecommunications channels such as the World Wide Web is a distinctive approach. This report describes the history of the development of the MCG Telepsychiatry Program. Through the use of a multichanneled telecommunications system, a more equitable distribution of mental health resources is underway in Georgia. PMID:10994685

  8. Socioeconomic inequalities in the use of outpatient services in Brazil according to health care need: evidence from the World Health Survey

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Brazilian health system is founded on the principle of equity, meaning provision of equal care for equal needs. However, little is known about the impact of health policies in narrowing socioeconomic health inequalities. Using data from the Brazilian World Health Survey, this paper addresses socioeconomic inequalities in the use of outpatient services according to intensity of need. Methods A three-stage cluster sampling was used to select 5000 adults (18 years and over). The non-response rate was 24.7% and calibration of the natural expansion factors was necessary to obtain the demographic structure of the Brazilian population. Utilization was established by use of outpatient services in the 12 months prior to the interview. Socioeconomic inequalities were analyzed by logistic regression models using years of schooling and private health insurance as independent variables, and controlling by age and sex. Effects of the socioeconomic variables on health services utilization were further analyzed according to self-rated health (good, fair and poor), considered as an indicator of intensity of health care need. Results Among the 5000 respondents, 63.4% used an outpatient service in the year preceding the survey. The association of health services utilization and self-rated health was significant (p < 0.001). Regarding socioeconomic inequalities, the less educated used health services less frequently, despite presenting worse health conditions. Highly significant effects were found for both socioeconomic variables, years of schooling (p < 0.001) and private health insurance (p < 0.00), after controlling for age and sex. Stratifying by self-rated health, the effects of both socioeconomic variables were significant among those with good health status, but not statistically significant among those with poor self-rated health. Conclusions The analysis showed that the social gradient in outpatient services utilization decreases as the need is more intense

  9. Tackling inequalities in obesity: a protocol for a systematic review of the effectiveness of public health interventions at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in obesity amongst children

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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 Index, ASSIA, IBSS

  10. Gender (in)equality among employees in elder care: implications for health

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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 (in)equality 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 (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. Conclusion 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. PMID:22217427

  11. Prioritizing the Determinants of Social-health Inequality in Iran: A Multiple Attribute Decision Making Application

    PubMed Central

    Zaboli, Rouhollah; Tourani, Sogand; Seyedin, Seyed Hesam; Oliaie Manesh, Alireza

    2014-01-01

    Background: One of the main challenges of healthcare systems of developing countries is health inequality. Health inequality means inequality in individuals’ ability and proper functioning, resulting in inequality in social status and living conditions, which thwarts social interventions implemented by the government. Objectives: This study aimed to determine and prioritize the social determinants of health inequality in Iran. Materials and Methods: This was a mixed method study with two phases of qualitative and quantitative research. The study population consisted of experts dealing with social determinants of health. A purposive, stratified and non-random sampling method was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data along with a multiple attribute decision making method for the quantitative phase of the research in which the TOPSIS technique was employed for prioritization. The qualitative findings were entered into NVivo for analysis, as were the quantitative data entered into MATLAB software. Results: The results approved the suitability of the conceptual framework of social determinants of health suggested by the WHO (world health organization) for studying social determinants of health inequality; however, this framework general and theoretical rather than a guideline for practice. Thus, in this study, 15 themes and 31 sub-themes were determined as social determinants of social health inequality in Iran. Based on the findings of the quantitative phase of our research, socioeconomic status, living facilities such as housing, and social integrity had the greatest effect on decreasing health inequality. Conclusions: A major part of the inequality in health distribution is avoidable because they are mostly caused by adjustable factors like economic conditions, educational conditions, employment, living facilities, etc. As in the majority of developing countries the living and health conditions are the same as Iran, the

  12. Global influences on milk purchasing in New Zealand – implications for health and inequalities

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Moira B; Signal, Louise

    2009-01-01

    Background Economic changes and policy reforms, consistent with economic globalization, in New Zealand in the mid-1980s, combined with the recent global demand for dairy products, particularly from countries undergoing a 'nutrition transition', have created an environment where a proportion of the New Zealand population is now experiencing financial difficulty purchasing milk. This situation has the potential to adversely affect health. Discussion Similar to other developed nations, widening income disparities and health inequalities have resulted from economic globalization in New Zealand; with regard to nutrition, a proportion of the population now faces food poverty. Further, rates of overweight/obesity and chronic diseases have increased in recent decades, primarily affecting indigenous people and lower socio-economic groups. Economic globalization in New Zealand has changed the domestic milk supply with regard to the consumer and may shed light on the link between globalization, nutrition and health outcomes. This paper describes the economic changes in New Zealand, specifically in the dairy market and discusses how these changes have the potential to create inequalities and adverse health outcomes. The implications for the success of current policy addressing chronic health outcomes is discussed, alternative policy options such as subsidies, price controls or alteration of taxation of recommended foods relative to 'unhealthy' foods are presented and the need for further research is considered. Summary Changes in economic ideology in New Zealand have altered the focus of policy development, from social to commercial. To achieve equity in health and improve access to social determinants of health, such as healthy nutrition, policy-makers must give consideration to health outcomes when developing and implementing economic policy, both national and global. PMID:19152688

  13. Can social inclusion policies reduce health inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa?--A rapid policy appraisal.

    PubMed

    Rispel, Laetitia C; de Sousa, César A D Palha; Molomo, Boitumelo G

    2009-08-01

    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. PMID:19761083

  14. Can Social Inclusion Policies Reduce Health Inequalities in Sub-Saharan Africa?—A Rapid Policy Appraisal

    PubMed Central

    Palha de Sousa, César A.D; Molomo, Boitumelo G

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19761083

  15. Health insurance trends are contributing to growing health care inequality.

    PubMed

    Book, Eric L

    2005-01-01

    A health plan chief medical officer comments on several trends underscoring the conclusion reached by Robert Hurley and colleagues that disparities in health care are widening. Growing use of new technology is driving up premiums, increasing the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured. Cost shifting by hospitals because of inadequate public program reimbursements drives premiums even higher. Although disparities in health care can never be eliminated, access to essential services can-and must-be made universal. That goal can be accomplished if insurance coverage is mandated and responsibility for its cost is spread broadly. PMID:16332912

  16. Public views about health causation, attributions of responsibility, and inequality.

    PubMed

    Lundell, Helen; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Clarke, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Success in addressing health disparities and their social determinants will require understanding public perceptions of health causation, attributions of responsibility, and potential solutions. To explore these perceptions, the authors conducted 12 focus groups (6 with liberals, 6 conservatives; N = 93 participants) in a large U.S. Northeastern state. Participants communicated highly nuanced views about health causation and disparities, identifying layers of responsibility for health. However, individual behaviors and personal responsibility dominated the discussion and served as a counterargument to the significance of social determinants. Participants also showed limited awareness of the range of policies that could be adopted to address health disparities. As policy initiatives benefit from public support in gaining political traction, the authors suggest research paths and possible communication strategies for scholars and advocates. PMID:23679219

  17. Convexity, Jensen's inequality, and benefits of noisy or biologically variable life support (Keynote Address)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutch, W. Alan C.

    2005-05-01

    Life support with a mechanical ventilator is used to manage patients with a variety of lung diseases including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recently, management of ARDS has concentrated on ventilating at lower airway pressure using lower tidal volume. A large international study demonstrated a 22% reduction in mortality with the low tidal volume approach. The potential advantages of adding physiologic noise with fractal characteristics to the respiratory rate and tidal volume as delivered by a mechanical ventilator are discussed. A so-called biologically variable ventilator (BVV), incorporating such noise, has been developed. Here we show that the benefits of noisy ventilation - at lower tidal volumes - can be deduced from a simple probabilistic result known as Jensen"s Inequality. Using the local convexity of the pressure-volume relationship in the lung we demonstrate that the addition of noise results in higher mean tidal volume or lower mean airway pressure. The consequence is enhanced gas exchange or less stress on the lungs, both clinically desirable. Jensen"s Inequality has important considerations in engineering, information theory and thermodynamics. Here is an example of the concept applied to medicine that may have important considerations for the clinical management of critically ill patients. Life support devices, such as mechanical ventilators, are of vital use in critical care units and operating rooms. These devices usually have monotonous output. Improving mechanical ventilators and other life support devices may be as simple as adding noise to their output signals.

  18. Transport policy and health inequalities: a health impact assessment of Edinburgh's transport policy.

    PubMed

    Gorman, D; Douglas, M J; Conway, L; Noble, P; Hanlon, P

    2003-01-01

    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. PMID:12802900

  19. Addressing Health Disparities in Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ta-Chien; Fan, I.-Chun; Liu, Michael Shi-Yung; Su, Ming-Daw; Chiang, Po-Huang

    2014-01-01

    According to the official health statistics, Taiwan has the highest prevalence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the world. Each year, around 60,000 ESRD patients in Taiwan consume 6% of the national insurance budget for dialysis treatment. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been climbing during 2008–2012. However, the spatial disparities and clustering of CKD at the public health level have rarely been discussed. The aims of this study are to explore the possible population level risk factors and identify any clusters of CKD, using the national health insurance database. The results show that the ESRD prevalence in females is higher than that in males. ESRD medical expenditure constitutes 87% of total CKD medical expenditure. Pre-CKD and pre-ESRD disease management might slow the progression from CKD to ESRD. After applying ordinary least-squares regression, the percentages of high education status and the elderly in the townships are positively correlated with CKD prevalence. Geographically weighted regression and Local Moran’s I are used for identifying the clusters in southern Taiwan. The findings can be important evidence for earlier and targeted community interventions and reducing the health disparities of CKD. PMID:25514144

  20. Has the Rajiv Aarogyasri Community Health Insurance Scheme of Andhra Pradesh Addressed the Educational Divide in Accessing Health Care?

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Mala; Singh, Prabal Vikram; Katyal, Anuradha; Samarth, Amit; Bergkvist, Sofi; Renton, Adrian; Netuveli, Gopalakrishnan

    2016-01-01

    Background Equity of access to healthcare remains a major challenge with families continuing to face financial and non-financial barriers to services. Lack of education has been shown to be a key risk factor for 'catastrophic' health expenditure (CHE), in many countries including India. Consequently, ways to address the education divide need to be explored. We aimed to assess whether the innovative state-funded Rajiv Aarogyasri Community Health Insurance Scheme of Andhra Pradesh state launched in 2007, has achieved equity of access to hospital inpatient care among households with varying levels of education. Methods We used the National Sample Survey Organization 2004 survey as our baseline and the same survey design to collect post-intervention data from 8623 households in the state in 2012. Two outcomes, hospitalisation and CHE for inpatient care, were estimated using education as a measure of socio-economic status and transforming levels of education into ridit scores. We derived relative indices of inequality by regressing the outcome measures on education, transformed as a ridit score, using logistic regression models with appropriate weights and accounting for the complex survey design. Findings Between 2004 and 2012, there was a 39% reduction in the likelihood of the most educated person being hospitalised compared to the least educated, with reductions observed in all households as well as those that had used the Aarogyasri. For CHE the inequality disappeared in 2012 in both groups. Sub-group analyses by economic status, social groups and rural-urban residence showed a decrease in relative indices of inequality in most groups. Nevertheless, inequalities in hospitalisation and CHE persisted across most groups. Conclusion During the time of the Aarogyasri scheme implementation inequalities in access to hospital care were substantially reduced but not eliminated across the education divide. Universal access to education and schemes such as Aarogyasri have the

  1. Beyond Status: Relating Status Inequality to Performance and Health in Teams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Amy M.; Barling, Julian

    2010-01-01

    Status structures in organizations are ubiquitous yet largely ignored in organizational research. We offer a conceptualization of team status inequality, or the extent to which status positions on a team are dispersed. Status inequality is hypothesized to be negatively related to individual performance and physical health for low-status…

  2. Poor Child Health, Family Capital and Cumulative Inequality in Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Margot

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of health and social stratification can be enriched by testing tenets of cumulative inequality theory that emphasize how the accumulation of inequality is dependent on the developmental stage being considered; the duration and stability of poor health; and the family resources available to children. I analyze longitudinal data from the British National Child Development Study (N=9,252) to ask: 1) if child health is a source of cumulative inequality in academic achievement; 2) whether this relationship depends on the timing and duration of poor health; and 3) whether trajectories are sensitive to levels of family capital. The results suggest that the relationship between health and academic achievement emerges very early in life and persists, and that whether we observe shrinking or widening inequality as children age depends on when we measure their health, and whether children have access to compensatory resources. PMID:25926564

  3. Defining health inequality: why Rawls succeeds where social welfare theory fails.

    PubMed

    Bommier, Antoine; Stecklov, Guy

    2002-05-01

    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. PMID:12022270

  4. Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality from conditions amenable to medical interventions: do they reflect inequalities in access or quality of health care?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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 evidence that inequalities in

  5. State-level variations in income-related inequality in health and health achievement in the US.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ke Tom

    2006-07-01

    The objective of this study was to examine state-level variations in income-related inequality in health and overall health achievement in the US. Data that were representative of the US and each state in 2001 were extracted from the Current Population Survey 2001. Income-related inequality in health and health achievement were measured by Health Concentration and Health Achievement Indices, respectively. Significant variations were found across states in income-related inequality in health and health achievement. In particular, states in the south and east regions, on average, experienced a higher degree of health inequality and lower health achievement. About 80% of the state-level variation in health achievement could be explained by demographics, economic structure and performance, and state and local government spending and burden. In contrast, medical care resource indicators were not found to contribute to health achievement in states. States with better health achievement were more urbanized, had lower proportions of minority groups, females and the elderly, fewer individuals below the poverty line, larger primary industry, and lower unemployment rates. Also, per capita state and local government spending, particularly the proportion spent on public health, was positively associated with better health achievement. Because of the direct implications of health level and distribution in resource allocation and social norms, states with a lower level of health achievement need to prioritize efforts in increasing and reallocating resources to diminish health inequality and to improve population health. PMID:16500008

  6. Measurement of Health Disparities, Health Inequities, and Social Determinants of Health to Support the Advancement of Health Equity.

    PubMed

    Penman-Aguilar, Ana; Talih, Makram; Huang, David; Moonesinghe, Ramal; Bouye, Karen; Beckles, Gloria

    2016-01-01

    Reduction of health disparities and advancement of health equity in the United States require high-quality data indicative of where the nation stands vis-à-vis health equity, as well as proper analytic tools to facilitate accurate interpretation of these data. This article opens with an overview of health equity and social determinants of health. It then proposes a set of recommended practices in measurement of health disparities, health inequities, and social determinants of health at the national level to support the advancement of health equity, highlighting that (1) differences in health and its determinants that are associated with social position are important to assess; (2) social and structural determinants of health should be assessed and multiple levels of measurement should be considered; (3) the rationale for methodological choices made and measures chosen should be made explicit; (4) groups to be compared should be simultaneously classified by multiple social statuses; and (5) stakeholders and their communication needs can often be considered in the selection of analytic methods. Although much is understood about the role of social determinants of health in shaping the health of populations, researchers should continue to advance understanding of the pathways through which they operate on particular health outcomes. There is still much to learn and implement about how to measure health disparities, health inequities, and social determinants of health at the national level, and the challenges of health equity persist. We anticipate that the present discussion will contribute to the laying of a foundation for standard practice in the monitoring of national progress toward achievement of health equity. PMID:26599027

  7. Influence of a screening navigation program on social inequalities in health beliefs about colorectal cancer screening.

    PubMed

    Vallet, Fanny; Guillaume, Elodie; Dejardin, Olivier; Guittet, Lydia; Bouvier, Véronique; Mignon, Astrid; Berchi, Célia; Salinas, Agnès; Launoy, Guy; Christophe, Véronique

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the study was to test whether a screening navigation program leads to more favorable health beliefs and decreases social inequalities in them. The selected 261 noncompliant participants in a screening navigation versus a usual screening program arm had to respond to health belief measures inspired by the Protection Motivation Theory. Regression analyses showed that social inequalities in perceived efficacy of screening, favorable attitude, and perceived facility were reduced in the screening navigation compared to the usual screening program. These results highlight the importance of health beliefs to understand the mechanism of screening navigation programs in reducing social inequalities. PMID:25549659

  8. Health inequalities and the health of the poor: what do we know? What can we do?

    PubMed Central

    Gwatkin, D. R.

    2000-01-01

    The contents of this theme section of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on "Inequalities in health" have two objectives: to present the initial findings from a new generation of research that has been undertaken in response to renewed concern for health inequalities; and to stimulate movement for action in order to correct the problems identified by this research. The research findings are presented in the five articles which follow. This Critical Reflection proposes two initial steps for the action needed to alleviate the problem; other suggestions are given by the participants in a Round Table discussion which is published after these articles. The theme section concludes with extracts from the classic writings of the nineteenth-century public health pioneer, William Farr, who is widely credited as one of the founders of the scientific study of health inequalities, together with a commentary. This Critical Reflection contributes to the discussion of the action needed by proposing two initial steps for action. That professionals who give very high priority to the distinct but related objectives of poverty alleviation, inequality reduction, and equity enhancement recognize that their shared concern for the distributional aspects of health policy is far more important than any differences that may divide them. That health policy goals, currently expressed as societal averages, be reformulated so that they point specifically to conditions among the poor and to poor-rich differences. For example, infant mortality rates among the poor or the differences in infant mortality between rich and poor sectors would be more useful indicators than the average infant mortality rates for the whole population. PMID:10686729

  9. Causes and determinants of inequity in maternal and child health in Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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

  10. Social inequalities in health: measuring the contribution of housing deprivation and social interactions for Spain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Social factors have been proved to be main determinants of individuals’ health. Recent studies have also analyzed the contribution of some of those factors, such as education and job status, to socioeconomic inequalities in health. The aim of this paper is to provide new evidence about the factors driving socioeconomic inequalities in health for the Spanish population by including housing deprivation and social interactions as health determinants. Methods Cross-sectional study based on the Spanish sample of European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for 2006. The concentration index measuring income-related inequality in health is decomposed into the contribution of each determinant. Several models are estimated to test the influence of different regressors for three proxies of ill-health. Results Health inequality favouring the better-off is observed in the distribution of self-assessed health, presence of chronic diseases and presence of limiting conditions. Inequality is mainly explained, besides age, by social factors such as labour status and financial deprivation. Housing deprivation contributes to pro-rich inequality in a percentage ranging from 7.17% to 13.85%, and social interactions from 6.16% to 10.19%. The contribution of some groups of determinants significantly differs depending on the ill-health variable used. Conclusions Health inequalities can be mostly reduced or shaped by policy, as they are mainly explained by social determinants such as labour status, education and other socioeconomic conditions. The major role played on health inequality by variables taking part in social exclusion points to the need to focus on the most vulnerable groups. JEL Codes H51, I14, I18 PMID:23241384

  11. Priorities and realities: addressing the rich-poor gaps in health status and service access in Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Over the past four decades, the Indonesian health care system has greatly expanded and the health of Indonesian people has improved although the rich-poor gap in health status and service access remains an issue. The government has been trying to address these gaps and intensify efforts to improve the health of the poor following the economic crisis in 1998. Methods This paper examines trends and levels in socio-economic inequity of health and identifies critical factors constraining efforts to improve the health of the poor. Quantitative data were taken from the Indonesian Demographic Health Surveys and the National Socio-Economic Surveys, and qualitative data were obtained from interviews with individuals and groups representing relevant stakeholders. Results The health of the population has improved as indicated by child mortality decline and the increase in community access to health services. However, the continuing prevalence of malnourished children and the persisting socio-economic inequity of health suggest that efforts to improve the health of the poor have not yet been effective. Factors identified at institution and policy levels that have constrained improvements in health care access and outcomes for the poor include: the high cost of electing formal governance leaders; confused leadership roles in the health sector; lack of health inequity indicators; the generally weak capacity in the health care system, especially in planning and budgeting; and the leakage and limited coverage of programs for the poor. Conclusions Despite the government's efforts to improve the health of the poor, the rich-poor gap in health status and service access continues. Factors at institutional and policy levels are critical in contributing to the lack of efficiency and effectiveness for health programs that address the poor. PMID:22067727

  12. Individualization and inequalities in health: a qualitative study of class identity and health.

    PubMed

    Bolam, Bruce; Murphy, Simon; Gleeson, Kate

    2004-10-01

    It has been argued that social class, if not dead, is at least a 'zombie category' in contemporary Western society. However, epidemiological evidence shows that class-based inequalities have either persisted or widened, despite overall improvements in the health of Western populations. This article presents an exploratory qualitative study of the individualization of class identity and health conducted in a southern English city. Findings are presented in consideration of two competing argumentative positions around which participants worked to negotiate class identity and health. The first of these positions denied the significance of class for identity and health and was associated with the individualised heroic and stoic narratives of working class identity. The second position acknowledged the reality of class relations and their implications for health and identity, being associated with structurally and politically orientated narratives of middle class identity. In sum, resistance to class was associated with talk about individual, private experience whereas the acceptance of class was linked to discussion of health as a wider social or political phenomenon. This evidence lends qualified support to the individualization thesis: inequalities in health existing on structural or material levels are not simply reproduced, and indeed in some contexts may even juxtapose, accounts of social identity in interview and focus group contexts. Class identity and health are negotiated in lay talk as participants shift argumentatively back and forth between competing positions, and public and private realms, in the attempt to make sense of health and illness. The promotion of greater awareness and interest in health inequalities within wider public discourse may well help support attempts to tackle these injustices. PMID:15246166

  13. Socioeconomic inequalities and changes in oral health behaviors among Brazilian adolescents from 2009 to 2012

    PubMed Central

    Freire, Maria do Carmo Matias; Jordão, Lidia Moraes Ribeiro; Malta, Deborah Carvalho; Andrade, Silvânia Suely Caribé de Araújo; Peres, Marco Aurelio

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Socioeconomic inequalities and changes in oral health behaviors among Brazilian adolescents from 2009 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Freire, Maria do Carmo Matias; Jordão, Lidia Moraes Ribeiro; Malta, Deborah Carvalho; Andrade, Silvânia Suely Caribé de Araújo; Peres, Marco Aurelio

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. The first federal budget under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: Addressing social determinants of health?

    PubMed

    Ruckert, Arne; Labonté, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    A challenging budget environment during the Harper years has meant that crucial investments in the social determinants of health (SDHs) have increasingly been neglected. The tabling of what is widely considered a more progressive budget with expansionary fiscal elements under the new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, raises the question as to what extent this budget invests in policy areas that are crucial for achieving a more equitable distribution in the social determinants of health, as promised in the Liberal party platform. In this commentary, we argue that the first Liberal budget represents a step in the right direction, but that this first step needs to be followed up with a sustained commitment to address the pervasive (and unfair) social inequalities that are the root cause of persistent health inequities in Canada. We conclude that the first Trudeau budget, while moving in the right direction, does not fully embody the sustained policy changes needed to effectively address SDHs, including a more expansive role for the federal government in the redistribution of income and wealth. PMID:27526222

  16. The Mexican experience in monitoring and evaluation of public policies addressing social determinants of health.

    PubMed

    Valle, Adolfo Martinez

    2016-01-01

    Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) have gradually become important and regular components of the policy-making process in Mexico since, and even before, the World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) called for interventions and policies aimed at tackling the social determinants of health (SDH). This paper presents two case studies to show how public policies addressing the SDH have been monitored and evaluated in Mexico using reliable, valid, and complete information, which is not regularly available. Prospera, for example, evaluated programs seeking to improve the living conditions of families in extreme poverty in terms of direct effects on health, nutrition, education and income. Monitoring of Prospera's implementation has also helped policy-makers identify windows of opportunity to improve the design and operation of the program. Seguro Popular has monitored the reduction of health inequalities and inequities evaluated the positive effects of providing financial protection to its target population. Useful and sound evidence of the impact of programs such as Progresa and Seguro Popular plus legal mandates, and a regulatory evaluation agency, the National Council for Social Development Policy Evaluation, have been fundamental to institutionalizing M&E in Mexico. The Mexican experience may provide useful lessons for other countries facing the challenge of institutionalizing the M&E of public policy processes to assess the effects of SDH as recommended by the WHO CSDH. PMID:26928215

  17. Inequalities in Advice Provided by Public Health Workers to Women during Antenatal Sessions in Rural India

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Abhishek; Pallikadavath, Saseendran; Ram, Faujdar; Ogollah, Reuben

    2012-01-01

    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 appropriate and

  18. Health Inequity in People with Intellectual Disabilities: From Evidence to Action Applying an Appreciative Inquiry Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naaldenberg, Jenneken; Banks, Roger; Lennox, Nick; Ouellette-Kunz, Hélène; Meijer, Marijke; Lantman-de Valk, Henny van Schrojenstein

    2015-01-01

    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 and methods: The workshops each addressed…

  19. The cost of child health inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand: a preliminary scoping study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22640030

  20. The dynamics of income-related health inequality among American children.

    PubMed

    Chatterji, Pinka; Lahiri, Kajal; Song, Jingya

    2013-05-01

    We estimate and decompose income-related inequality in child health in the USA and analyze its dynamics using the recently introduced health mobility index. Data come from the 1997, 2002, and 2007 waves of the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The findings show that income-related child health inequality remains stable as children grow up and enter adolescence. The main factor underlying income-related child health inequality is income itself, although other factors, such as maternal education, also play a role. Decomposition of income-related health mobility indicates that health changes over time are more favorable to children with lower initial family incomes versus children with higher initial family incomes. However, offsetting this effect, our findings also suggest that changes in income ranking over time are positively related to children's subsequent health status. PMID:22514158

  1. Addressing Special Education Inequity through Systemic Change: Contributions of Ecologically Based Organizational Consultation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Amanda L.; Artiles, Alfredo J.; Hernandez-Saca, David I.

    2015-01-01

    Since the inception of special education, scholars and practitioners have been concerned about the disproportionate representation of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds among students identified with disabilities. Professional efforts to address this disproportionality have encompassed a range of targets, but scholars…

  2. Social Justice Leadership and Inclusion: Exploring Challenges in an Urban District Struggling to Address Inequities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeMatthews, David; Mawhinney, Hanne

    2014-01-01

    Research Approach: This cross case study describes the challenges that two principals working in one urban school district addressed while attempting to transform their school cultures to embrace an inclusion model. Analysis of interviews and observations in each school revealed the actions, values, and orientations of the individual leaders and…

  3. Understanding the Research–Policy Divide for Oral Health Inequality

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Erica; Crocombe, Leonard; Campbell, Steven; Goldberg, Lynette R.; Seidel, Bastian M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: No studies exist of the congruence of research in oral health to policy. This study aimed to examine the broad congruence of oral health research to policy, and implications for developing oral health research that is more policy relevant, particularly for the wider challenge of addressing unequal oral health outcomes, rather than specific policy translation issues. Methods: Bayesian-based software was used in a multi-layered method to compare the conceptual content of 127,193 oral health research abstracts published between 2000–2012 with eight current oral health policy documents from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Findings: Fifty-five concepts defined the research abstracts, of which only eight were policy-relevant, and six of which were minor research concepts. Conclusions The degree of disconnection between clinical concepts and healthcare system and workforce development concepts was striking. This study shows that, far from being “lost in translation,” oral health research and policy are so different as to raise doubts about the extent to which research is policy-relevant and policy is research-based. The notion of policy relevance encompasses the lack of willingness of policy makers to embrace research, and the need for researchers to develop research that is, and is seen to be, policy-relevant. PMID:25617516

  4. Epi + demos + cracy: linking political systems and priorities to the magnitude of health inequities--evidence, gaps, and a research agenda.

    PubMed

    Beckfield, Jason; Krieger, Nancy

    2009-01-01

    A new focus within both social epidemiology and political sociology investigates how political systems and priorities shape health inequities. To advance-and better integrate-research on political determinants of health inequities, the authors conducted a systematic search of the ISI Web of Knowledge and PubMed databases and identified 45 studies, commencing in 1992, that explicitly and empirically tested, in relation to an a priori political hypothesis, for either 1) changes in the magnitude of health inequities or 2) significant cross-national differences in the magnitude of health inequities. Overall, 84% of the studies focused on the global North, and all clustered around 4 political factors: 1) the transition to a capitalist economy; 2) neoliberal restructuring; 3) welfare states; and 4) political incorporation of subordinated racial/ethnic, indigenous, and gender groups. The evidence suggested that the first 2 factors probably increase health inequities, the third is inconsistently related, and the fourth helps reduce them. In this review, the authors critically summarize these studies' findings, consider methodological limitations, and propose a research agenda-with careful attention to spatiotemporal scale, level, time frame (e.g., life course, historical generation), choice of health outcomes, inclusion of polities, and specification of political mechanisms-to address the enormous gaps in knowledge that were identified. PMID:19474091

  5. Addressing the Social Determinants of Health through the Alameda County, California, Place Matters Policy Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Schaff, Katherine; Flournoy, Rebecca; Carson, Keith; Drenick, Teresa; Fujii, Darlene; Lee, Anna; Luginbuhl, Jessica; Mena, Mona; Shrago, Amy; Siegel, Anita; Stahl, Robert; Watkins-Tartt, Kimi; Willow, Pam; Witt, Sandra; Woloshin, Diane; Yamashita, Brenda

    2013-01-01

    In Alameda County, California, significant health inequities by race/ethnicity, income, and place persist. Many of the county's low-income residents and residents of color live in communities that have faced historical and current disinvestment through public policies. This disinvestment affects community conditions such as access to economic opportunities, well-maintained and affordable housing, high-quality schools, healthy food, safe parks, and clean water and air. These community conditions greatly affect health. At the invitation of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' national Place Matters initiative, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson's Office and the Alameda County Public Health Department launched Alameda County Place Matters, an initiative that addresses community conditions through local policy change. We describe the initiative's creation, activities, policy successes, and best practices. PMID:24179279

  6. Addressing the social determinants of health through the Alameda County, California, place matters policy initiative.

    PubMed

    Schaff, Katherine; Desautels, Alexandra; Flournoy, Rebecca; Carson, Keith; Drenick, Teresa; Fujii, Darlene; Lee, Anna; Luginbuhl, Jessica; Mena, Mona; Shrago, Amy; Siegel, Anita; Stahl, Robert; Watkins-Tartt, Kimi; Willow, Pam; Witt, Sandra; Woloshin, Diane; Yamashita, Brenda

    2013-11-01

    In Alameda County, California, significant health inequities by race/ethnicity, income, and place persist. Many of the county's low-income residents and residents of color live in communities that have faced historical and current disinvestment through public policies. This disinvestment affects community conditions such as access to economic opportunities, well-maintained and affordable housing, high-quality schools, healthy food, safe parks, and clean water and air. These community conditions greatly affect health. At the invitation of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' national Place Matters initiative, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson's Office and the Alameda County Public Health Department launched Alameda County Place Matters, an initiative that addresses community conditions through local policy change. We describe the initiative's creation, activities, policy successes, and best practices. PMID:24179279

  7. Will Universal Health Coverage (UHC) lead to the freedom to lead flourishing and healthy lives?: Comment on "Inequities in the freedom to lead a flourishing and healthy life: issues for healthy public policy".

    PubMed

    Matheson, Don

    2015-01-01

    The focus on public policy and health equity is discussed in reference to the current global health policy discussion on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This initiative has strong commitment from the leadership of the international organizations involved, but a lack of policy clarity outside of the health financing component may limit the initiative's impact on health inequity. In order to address health inequities there needs to be greater focus on the most vulnerable communities, subnational health systems, and attention paid to how communities, civil society and the private sector engage and participate in health systems. PMID:25584354

  8. Prospects for progress on health inequalities in England in the post-primary care trust era: professional views on challenges, risks and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Addressing health inequalities remains a prominent policy objective of the current UK government, but current NHS reforms involve a significant shift in roles and responsibilities. Clinicians are now placed at the heart of healthcare commissioning through which significant inequalities in access, uptake and impact of healthcare services must be addressed. Questions arise as to whether these new arrangements will help or hinder progress on health inequalities. This paper explores the perspectives of experienced healthcare professionals working within the commissioning arena; many of whom are likely to remain key actors in this unfolding scenario. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 professionals involved with health and social care commissioning at national and local levels. These included representatives from the Department of Health, Primary Care Trusts, Strategic Health Authorities, Local Authorities, and third sector organisations. Results In general, respondents lamented the lack of progress on health inequalities during the PCT commissioning era, where strong policy had not resulted in measurable improvements. However, there was concern that GP-led commissioning will fare little better, particularly in a time of reduced spending. Specific concerns centred on: reduced commitment to a health inequalities agenda; inadequate skills and loss of expertise; and weakened partnership working and engagement. There were more mixed opinions as to whether GP commissioners would be better able than their predecessors to challenge large provider trusts and shift spend towards prevention and early intervention, and whether GPs’ clinical experience would support commissioning action on inequalities. Though largely pessimistic, respondents highlighted some opportunities, including the potential for greater accountability of healthcare commissioners to the public and more influential needs assessments via emergent Health & Wellbeing Boards

  9. Province-Level Income Inequality and Health Outcomes in Canadian Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To examine the effects of provincial income inequality (disparity between rich and poor), independent of provincial income and family socioeconomic status, on multiple adolescent health outcomes. Methods Participants (aged 12–17 years; N = 11,899) were from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Parental education, household income, province income inequality, and province mean income were measured. Health outcomes were measured across a number of domains, including self-rated health, mental health, health behaviors, substance use behaviors, and physical health. Results Income inequality was associated with injuries, general physical symptoms, and limiting conditions, but not associated with most adolescent health outcomes and behaviors. Income inequality had a moderating effect on family socioeconomic status for limiting conditions, hyperactivity/inattention, and conduct problems, but not for other outcomes. Conclusions Province-level income inequality was associated with some physical and mental health outcomes in adolescents, which has research and policy implications for this age-group. PMID:25324533

  10. Recommodification, Unemployment, and Health Inequalities: Trends in England and Sweden 1991-2011.

    PubMed

    Farrants, Kristin; Bambra, Clare; Nylen, Lotta; Kasim, Adetayo; Burstrom, Bo; Hunter, David

    2016-01-01

    Recommodification, the withdrawal of social welfare, has been going on for some decades in both Sweden and England. Recommodification disproportionately affects the unemployed because of their weak market position. We investigated the impact recommodification has had on health inequalities between the employed and unemployed in Sweden and England. Using national surveys, odds ratios for the likelihood of reporting less than good health between the employed and unemployed were computed annually between 1991 and 2011. The correlation between these odds ratios and net replacement rates was then examined. Health inequalities between the employed and unemployed were greater in 2011 than in 1991 in both countries. Sweden began with smaller health inequalities, but by 2011, they were in line with those in England. Sweden experienced more recommodification than England during this period, although it started from a much less commodified position. Correspondingly, correlation between unemployment benefit generosity and health inequalities was stronger in Sweden than in England. Recommodification is linked to ill health among the unemployed and to the health gap between the employed and unemployed. We propose that further recommodification will be associated with increased health inequalities between the employed and unemployed. PMID:27000134

  11. Understanding determinants of socioeconomic inequality in mental health in Iran's capital, Tehran: a concentration index decomposition approach

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Mental health is of special importance regarding socioeconomic inequalities in health. On the one hand, mental health status mediates the relationship between economic inequality and health; on the other hand, mental health as an "end state" is affected by social factors and socioeconomic inequality. In spite of this, in examining socioeconomic inequalities in health, mental health has attracted less attention than physical health. As a first attempt in Iran, the objectives of this paper were to measure socioeconomic inequality in mental health, and then to untangle and quantify the contributions of potential determinants of mental health to the measured socioeconomic inequality. Methods In a cross-sectional observational study, mental health data were taken from an Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART) survey, conducted on 22 300 Tehran households in 2007 and covering people aged 15 and above. Principal component analysis was used to measure the economic status of households. As a measure of socioeconomic inequality, a concentration index of mental health was applied and decomposed into its determinants. Results The overall concentration index of mental health in Tehran was -0.0673 (95% CI = -0.070 - -0.057). Decomposition of the concentration index revealed that economic status made the largest contribution (44.7%) to socioeconomic inequality in mental health. Educational status (13.4%), age group (13.1%), district of residence (12.5%) and employment status (6.5%) also proved further important contributors to the inequality. Conclusions Socioeconomic inequalities exist in mental health status in Iran's capital, Tehran. Since the root of this avoidable inequality is in sectors outside the health system, a holistic mental health policy approach which includes social and economic determinants should be adopted to redress the inequitable distribution of mental health. PMID:22449237

  12. Income inequality, drug-related arrests, and the health of people who inject drugs: Reflections on seventeen years of research.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Samuel R; Tempalski, Barbara; Brady, Joanne E; West, Brooke S; Pouget, Enrique R; Williams, Leslie D; Des Jarlais, Don C; Cooper, Hannah L F

    2016-06-01

    This paper reviews and then discusses selected findings from a seventeen year study about the population prevalence of people who inject drugs (PWID) and of HIV prevalence and mortality among PWID in 96 large US metropolitan areas. Unlike most research, this study was conducted with the metropolitan area as the level of analysis. It found that metropolitan area measures of income inequality and of structural racism predicted all of these outcomes, and that rates of arrest for heroin and/or cocaine predicted HIV prevalence and mortality but did not predict changes in PWID population prevalence. Income inequality and measures of structural racism were associated with hard drug arrests or other properties of policing. These findings, whose limitations and implications for further research are discussed, suggest that efforts to respond to HIV and to drug injection should include supra-individual efforts to reduce both income inequality and racism. At a time when major social movements in many countries are trying to reduce inequality, racism and oppression (including reforming drug laws), these macro-social issues in public health should be both addressable and a priority in both research and action. PMID:27198555

  13. Discrimination, Perceived Social Inequity, and Mental Health Among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Danhua; Wang, Bo; Hong, Yan; Qin, Xiong; Stanton, Bonita

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20033772

  14. Reducing Health Inequalities in Scotland: The Involvement of People with Learning Disabilities as National Health Service Reviewers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Martin; Martin, Mike

    2010-01-01

    Reducing health inequalities is a key priority for the Scottish Government. Health authorities are expected to meet quality targets. The involvement of people with learning disabilities in health service review teams has been one of the initiatives used in by National Health Service Quality Improvement Scotland to empower patients and improve…

  15. Comparison and Relative Utility of Inequality Measurements: As Applied to Scotland’s Child Dental Health

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Yvonne I.; McMahon, Alex D.; Macpherson, Lorna M. D.

    2013-01-01

    This study compared and assessed the utility of tests of inequality on a series of very large population caries datasets. National cross-sectional caries datasets for Scotland’s 5-year-olds in 1993/94 (n = 5,078); 1995/96 (n = 6,240); 1997/98 (n = 6,584); 1999/00 (n = 6,781); 2002/03 (n = 9,747); 2003/04 (n = 10,956); 2005/06 (n = 10,945) and 2007/08 (n = 12,067) were obtained. Outcomes were based on the d3mft metric (i.e. the number of decayed, missing and filled teeth). An area-based deprivation category (DepCat) measured the subjects’ socioeconomic status (SES). Simple absolute and relative inequality, Odds Ratios and the Significant Caries Index (SIC) as advocated by the World Health Organization were calculated. The measures of complex inequality applied to data were: the Slope Index of Inequality (absolute) and a variety of relative inequality tests i.e. Gini coefficient; Relative Index of Inequality; concentration curve; Koolman & Doorslaer’s transformed Concentration Index; Receiver Operator Curve and Population Attributable Risk (PAR). Additional tests used were plots of SIC deciles (SIC10) and a Scottish Caries Inequality Metric (SCIM10). Over the period, mean d3mft improved from 3.1(95%CI 3.0–3.2) to 1.9(95%CI 1.8–1.9) and d3mft = 0% from 41.1(95%CI 39.8–42.3) to 58.3(95%CI 57.8–59.7). Absolute simple and complex inequality decreased. Relative simple and complex inequality remained comparatively stable. Our results support the use of the SII and RII to measure complex absolute and relative SES inequalities alongside additional tests of complex relative inequality such as PAR and Koolman and Doorslaer’s transformed CI. The latter two have clear interpretations which may influence policy makers. Specialised dental metrics (i.e. SIC, SIC10 and SCIM10) permit the exploration of other important inequalities not determined by SES, and could be applied to many other types of disease where ranking of morbidity

  16. Health-income inequality: the effects of the Icelandic economic collapse

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Health-income inequality has been the focus of many studies. The relationship between economic conditions and health has also been widely studied. However, not much is known about how changes in aggregate economic conditions relate to health-income inequality. Nevertheless, such knowledge would have both scientific and practical value as substantial public expenditures are used to decrease such inequalities and opportunities to do so may differ over the business cycle. For this reason we examine the effect of the Icelandic economic collapse in 2008 on health-income inequality. Methods The data used come from a health and lifestyle survey carried out by the Public Health Institute of Iceland in 2007 and 2009. A stratified random sample of 9,807 individuals 18–79 years old received questionnaires and a total of 42.1% answered in both years. As measures of health-income inequality, health-income concentration indices are calculated and decomposed into individual-level determinants. Self-assessed health is used as the health measure in the analyses, but three different measures of income are used: individual income, household income, and equivalized household income. Results In both years there is evidence of health-income inequality favoring the better off. However, changes are apparent between years. For males health-income inequality increases after the crisis while it remains fairly stable for females or slightly decreases. The decomposition analyses show that income itself and disability constitute the most substantial determinants of inequality. The largest increases in contributions between years for males come from being a student, having low education and being obese, as well as age and income but those changes are sensitive to the income measure used. Conclusions Changes in health and income over the business cycle can differ across socioeconomic strata, resulting in cyclicality of income-related health distributions. As substantial fiscal

  17. How Do People Attribute Income-Related Inequalities in Health? A Cross-Sectional Study in Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Lofters, Aisha; Slater, Morgan; Kirst, Maritt; Shankardass, Ketan; Quiñonez, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    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 for equity

  18. Measurement of social inequalities in health and use of health services among children in Northumberland.

    PubMed Central

    Reading, R; Jarvis, S; Openshaw, S

    1993-01-01

    Social inequalities in a variety of indicators of child health were measured using a 'small area' geographical method of social classification. Cross sectional analyses of routine child health information and of a population survey of the height of primary school children were used. Social classification was by census enumeration district of residence using the Townsend deprivation score. Over 21,000 children resident in Northumberland born between January 1985 and September 1990, and 9930 children aged 5-8.6 years in Northumberland schools were studied. The following differences between the most deprived 10% of areas and the most affluent 10% of areas were used as outcome measures: the proportion of birth weights less than 2800 g; the proportion of births to teenage mothers; the proportion of 15 month old children not immunised against pertussis; the proportion of infants not screened at 6 weeks of age; the proportion of children not screened at 18 months of age; and the mean height of children in SD scores. Between the most deprived and most affluent areas birth weights less than 2800 g varied from 18 to 11%, the percentage of teenage mothers from 18 to 3%, non-immunised children from 30 to 19%, children not screened at 18 months from 21 to 14%, and mean height from -0.2 SD scores to +0.1 SD scores. The area variation in screening at 6 weeks of age was less, but still poorer in deprived areas. It is concluded that small area methods are effective in showing inequalities in child health, even in a rural area where such methods might be expected to perform less well. Social inequalities in all the aspects of child health measured remain evident. PMID:8323330

  19. Oral Health Inequalities between Rural and Urban Populations of the African and Middle East Region.

    PubMed

    Ogunbodede, E O; Kida, I A; Madjapa, H S; Amedari, M; Ehizele, A; Mutave, R; Sodipo, B; Temilola, S; Okoye, L

    2015-07-01

    Although there have been major improvements in oral health, with remarkable advances in the prevention and management of oral diseases, globally, inequalities persist between urban and rural communities. These inequalities exist in the distribution of oral health services, accessibility, utilization, treatment outcomes, oral health knowledge and practices, health insurance coverage, oral health-related quality of life, and prevalence of oral diseases, among others. People living in rural areas are likely to be poorer, be less health literate, have more caries, have fewer teeth, have no health insurance coverage, and have less money to spend on dental care than persons living in urban areas. Rural areas are often associated with lower education levels, which in turn have been found to be related to lower levels of health literacy and poor use of health care services. These factors have an impact on oral health care, service delivery, and research. Hence, unmet dental care remains one of the most urgent health care needs in these communities. We highlight some of the conceptual issues relating to urban-rural inequalities in oral health, especially in the African and Middle East Region (AMER). Actions to reduce oral health inequalities and ameliorate rural-urban disparity are necessary both within the health sector and the wider policy environment. Recommended actions include population-specific oral health promotion programs, measures aimed at increasing access to oral health services in rural areas, integration of oral health into existing primary health care services, and support for research aimed at informing policy on the social determinants of health. Concerted efforts must be made by all stakeholders (governments, health care workforce, organizations, and communities) to reduce disparities and improve oral health outcomes in underserved populations. PMID:26101336

  20. [Four axiological considerations in social epidemiology for the monitoring of health inequality].

    PubMed

    Mújica, Oscar J

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:27440090

  1. Using Multiple-hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Approaches to Understand Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Consequences of Race, Gender, SES, and Age.

    PubMed

    Brown, Tyson H; Richardson, Liana J; Hargrove, Taylor W; Thomas, Courtney S

    2016-06-01

    This study examines how the intersecting consequences of race-ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics status (SES), and age influence health inequality. We draw on multiple-hierarchy stratification and life course perspectives to address two main research questions. First, does racial-ethnic stratification of health vary by gender and/or SES? More specifically, are the joint health consequences of racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic stratification additive or multiplicative? Second, does this combined inequality in health decrease, remain stable, or increase between middle and late life? We use panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 12,976) to investigate between- and within-group differences in in self-rated health among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans. Findings indicate that the effects of racial-ethnic, gender, and SES stratification are interactive, resulting in the greatest racial-ethnic inequalities in health among women and those with higher levels of SES. Furthermore, racial-ethnic/gender/SES inequalities in health tend to decline with age. These results are broadly consistent with intersectionality and aging-as-leveler hypotheses. PMID:27284076

  2. Using Multiple-hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Approaches to Understand Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Consequences of Race, Gender, SES, and Age

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Tyson H.; Richardson, Liana J.; Hargrove, Taylor W.; Thomas, Courtney S.

    2016-01-01

    This study examines how the intersecting consequences of race-ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics status (SES), and age influence health inequality. We draw on multiple-hierarchy stratification and life course perspectives to address two main research questions. First, does racial-ethnic stratification of health vary by gender and/or SES? More specifically, are the joint health consequences of racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic stratification additive or multiplicative? Second, does this combined inequality in health decrease, remain stable, or increase between middle and late life? We use panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 12,976) to investigate between- and within-group differences in in self-rated health among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans. Findings indicate that the effects of racial-ethnic, gender, and SES stratification are interactive, resulting in the greatest racial-ethnic inequalities in health among women and those with higher levels of SES. Furthermore, racial-ethnic/gender/SES inequalities in health tend to decline with age. These results are broadly consistent with intersectionality and aging-as-leveler hypotheses. PMID:27284076

  3. [Indicators to monitor the evolution of the economic crisis and its effects on health and health inequalities. SESPAS report 2014].

    PubMed

    Pérez, Glòria; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Domínguez-Berjón, Felicitas; Cabeza, Elena; Borrell, Carme

    2014-06-01

    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. PMID:24864001

  4. Using community-based participatory research to address Chinese older women's health needs: Toward sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chang, E-Shien; Simon, Melissa A; Dong, XinQi

    2016-01-01

    Although community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been recognized as a useful approach for eliminating health disparities, less attention is given to how CBPR projects may address gender inequalities in health for immigrant older women. The goal of this article is to share culturally sensitive strategies and lessons learned from the PINE study-a population-based study of U.S. Chinese older adults that was strictly guided by the CBPR approach. Working with Chinese older women requires trust, respect, and understanding of their unique historical, social, and cultural positions. We also discuss implications for developing impact-driven research partnerships that meet the needs of this vulnerable population. PMID:27310870

  5. Miles to Go before We Sleep: Racial Inequities in Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Large, pervasive, and persistent racial inequalities exist in the onset, courses, and outcomes of illness. A comprehensive understanding of the patterning of racial disparities indicates that racism in both its institutional and individual forms remains an important determinant. There is an urgent need to build the science base that would identify…

  6. Gender inequity in Saudi Arabia and its role in public health.

    PubMed

    Mobaraki, A E H; Söderfeldt, B

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20214168

  7. New Approaches for Moving Upstream: How State and Local Health Departments Can Transform Practice to Reduce Health Inequalities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freudenberg, Nicholas; Franzosa, Emily; Chisholm, Janice; Libman, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    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"…

  8. Addressing the Social Determinants of Health of Children and Youth: A Role for SOPHE Members

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allensworth, Diane D.

    2011-01-01

    The determinants of youth health disparities include poverty, unequal access to health care, poor environmental conditions, and educational inequities. Poor and minority children have more health problems and less access to health care than their higher socioeconomic status cohorts. Having more health problems leads to more absenteeism in school,…

  9. Socioeconomic Inequality in Disability Among Adults: A Multicountry Study Using the World Health Survey

    PubMed Central

    Hosseinpoor, Ahmad R.; Stewart Williams, Jennifer A.; Gautam, Jeny; Posarac, Aleksandra; Officer, Alana; Verdes, Emese; Kostanjsek, Nenad

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. We compared national prevalence and wealth-related inequality in disability across a large number of countries from all income groups. Methods. Data on 218 737 respondents participating in the World Health Survey 2002–2004 were analyzed. A composite disability score (0–100) identified respondents who experienced significant disability in physical, mental, and social functioning irrespective of their underlying health condition. Disabled persons had disability composite scores above 40. Wealth was evaluated using an index of economic status in households based on ownership of selected assets. Socioeconomic inequalities were measured using the slope index of inequality and the relative index of inequality. Results. Median age-standardized disability prevalence was higher in the low- and lower middle-income countries. In all the study countries, disability was more prevalent in the poorest than in the richest wealth quintiles. Pro-rich inequality was statistically significant in 43 of 49 countries, with disability prevalence higher among populations with lower wealth. Median relative inequality was higher in the high- and upper middle-income countries. Conclusions. Integrating equity components into the monitoring of disability trends would help ensure that interventions reach and benefit populations with greatest need. PMID:23678901

  10. Resistance in Unjust Times: Archer, Structured Agency and the Sociology of Health Inequalities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:25076798

  11. Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellor, Jennifer M.; Milyo, Jeffrey

    2002-01-01

    Current Population Survey data on self-reported health status and income for the general population and those in poverty were analyzed. No consistent association was found between income inequality and individual health status. Previous findings of such an association were attributed to ecological fallacy or failure to control for individual…

  12. Intellectual Disabilities and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health: An Overview of Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graham, Hilary

    2005-01-01

    Background: There is an enduring association between socioeconomic position and health, both over time and across major causes of death. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities are disproportionately represented among the poorer and less healthy sections of the population. But research on health inequalities, and on the broader societal…

  13. Adaptive Policies for Reducing Inequalities in the Social Determinants of Health

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Gemma; Crammond, Brad; Malbon, Eleanor; Carey, Nic

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26673337

  14. Adaptive Policies for Reducing Inequalities in the Social Determinants of Health.

    PubMed

    Carey, Gemma; Crammond, Brad; Malbon, Eleanor; Carey, Nic

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26673337

  15. A micro-level model of employment relations and health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Benach, Joan; Solar, Orielle; Santana, Vilma; Castedo, Antía; Chung, Haejoo; Muntaner, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Theoretical models are a way of visualizing, in context, the many factors that contribute to inequalities in health. This article presents a model showing the micro-level pathways relating employment and working conditions to health inequalities. A first important (indirect) pathway runs through the unequal distribution of harmful working conditions. Both employment and working conditions tend to be unequally distributed along the same social axes: social class, gender, ethnicity/race, immigration/migration status, territory, and so forth. Underlying mechanisms are exploitation, domination, and discrimination. Material deprivation and economic inequalities constitute a second direct pathway linking (nonstandard) employment conditions to health inequalities. In a third pathway, employment conditions may have an important effect on health inequalities via several psychosocial, behavioral, and physiopathological pathways. Although these several pathways are separated for analytical purposes, they are largely intertwined and, ideally, should be studied in an integrated way. The theoretical model presented in this article serves three main purposes: providing analytical clarity for organizing scientific data, encouraging further observation and causal testing, and identifying policy entry points. PMID:20440967

  16. A Life Course Perspective on How Racism May Be Related to Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Walsemann, Katrina M.; Brondolo, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies show that racism may influence health inequities. As individuals grow from infancy into old age, they encounter social institutions that may create new exposures to racial bias. Yet, few studies have considered this idea fully. We suggest a framework that shows how racism and health inequities may be viewed from a life course perspective. It applies the ideas of age-patterned exposures, sensitive periods, linked lives, latency period, stress proliferation, historic period, and cohorts. It suggests an overarching idea that racism can structure one’s time in asset-building contexts (e.g., education) or disadvantaged contexts (e.g., prison). This variation in time and exposure can contribute to racial inequities in life expectancy and other health outcomes across the life course and over generations. PMID:22420802

  17. Family life and health in adolescence: a role for culture in the health inequalities debate?

    PubMed

    Sweeting, H; West, P

    1995-01-01

    Until recently, the role of the family in the 'health inequalities' debate has been largely ignored. Using data from the youngest cohort in the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study, three dimensions of family life (family structure, culture and conflict) are examined in respect of their association both with health when respondents were aged 15 and 18, and with labour market position at 18. Despite a strong association between family structure and material deprivation, those from intact, reconstituted and single parent families were largely undifferentiated in terms of health. By contrast, aspects of family functioning, particularly a poorer relationship and conflict with parent(s), were independently associated with lower self-esteem, poorer psychological well-being and (among females) more physical symptoms at both ages. In addition, both family culture and conflict were associated with labour market position over and above the effects of material deprivation, with those from family centred and lower conflict homes having a greater likelihood of being in tertiary education. While the relationships between the family and psychological well-being and, to a lesser extent, physical symptoms appeared to be mediated by self-esteem, those between the family and labour market position did not. These findings suggest that in adolescence family life may have more direct effects on health than material factors and, through social mobility, may be indirectly linked to health inequalities in adulthood. These family processes, we argue, are expressions of cultural influences, the scope of which to date has been too narrowly focused on health behaviours. PMID:7899929

  18. Redesigning Health Care Practices to Address Childhood Poverty.

    PubMed

    Fierman, Arthur H; Beck, Andrew F; Chung, Esther K; Tschudy, Megan M; Coker, Tumaini R; Mistry, Kamila B; Siegel, Benjamin; Chamberlain, Lisa J; Conroy, Kathleen; Federico, Steven G; Flanagan, Patricia J; Garg, Arvin; Gitterman, Benjamin A; Grace, Aimee M; Gross, Rachel S; Hole, Michael K; Klass, Perri; Kraft, Colleen; Kuo, Alice; Lewis, Gena; Lobach, Katherine S; Long, Dayna; Ma, Christine T; Messito, Mary; Navsaria, Dipesh; Northrip, Kimberley R; Osman, Cynthia; Sadof, Matthew D; Schickedanz, Adam B; Cox, Joanne

    2016-04-01

    Child poverty in the United States is widespread and has serious negative effects on the health and well-being of children throughout their life course. Child health providers are considering ways to redesign their practices in order to mitigate the negative effects of poverty on children and support the efforts of families to lift themselves out of poverty. To do so, practices need to adopt effective methods to identify poverty-related social determinants of health and provide effective interventions to address them. Identification of needs can be accomplished with a variety of established screening tools. Interventions may include resource directories, best maintained in collaboration with local/regional public health, community, and/or professional organizations; programs embedded in the practice (eg, Reach Out and Read, Healthy Steps for Young Children, Medical-Legal Partnership, Health Leads); and collaboration with home visiting programs. Changes to health care financing are needed to support the delivery of these enhanced services, and active advocacy by child health providers continues to be important in effecting change. We highlight the ongoing work of the Health Care Delivery Subcommittee of the Academic Pediatric Association Task Force on Child Poverty in defining the ways in which child health care practice can be adapted to improve the approach to addressing child poverty. PMID:27044692

  19. Social capital and health of older Europeans: causal pathways and health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Sirven, Nicolas; Debrand, Thierry

    2012-10-01

    This study uses a time-based approach to examine the causal relationship (Granger-like) between health and social capital for older people in Europe. We use panel data from waves 1 and 2 of SHARE (the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe) for the analysis. Additional wave 3 data on retrospective life histories (SHARELIFE) are used to model the initial conditions in the model. For each of the first 2 waves, a dummy variable for involvement in social activities (voluntary associations, church, social clubs, etc.) is used as a proxy for social capital as involvement in Putnamesque associations; and seven health dichotomous variables are retained, covering a wide range of physical and mental health measures. A bivariate recursive Probit model is used to simultaneously investigate (i) the influence of baseline social capital on current health - controlling for baseline health and other current covariates, and (ii) the impact of baseline health on current participation in social activities - controlling for baseline social capital and other current covariates. As expected, we account for a reversed causal effect: individual social capital has a causal beneficial impact on health and vice-versa. However, the effect of health on social capital appears to be significantly higher than the social capital effect on health. These results indicate that the sub-population reaching 50 years old in good health has a higher propensity to take part in social activities and to benefit from it. Conversely, the other part of the population in poor health at 50, may see their health worsening faster because of the missing beneficial effect of social capital. Social capital may therefore be a potential vector of health inequalities for the older population. PMID:22748478

  20. A general method for decomposing the causes of socioeconomic inequality in health.

    PubMed

    Heckley, Gawain; Gerdtham, Ulf-G; Kjellsson, Gustav

    2016-07-01

    We introduce a general decomposition method applicable to all forms of bivariate rank dependent indices of socioeconomic inequality in health, including the concentration index. The technique is based on recentered influence function regression and requires only the application of OLS to a transformed variable with similar interpretation. Our method requires few identifying assumptions to yield valid estimates in most common empirical applications, unlike current methods favoured in the literature. Using the Swedish Twin Registry and a within twin pair fixed effects identification strategy, our new method finds no evidence of a causal effect of education on income-related health inequality. PMID:27137844

  1. Comparing health inequality in men and women: prospective study of mortality 1986-96

    PubMed Central

    Sacker, Amanda; Firth, David; Fitzpatrick, Ray; Lynch, Kevin; Bartley, Mel

    2000-01-01

    Objectives To study prospectively the differences in health inequality in men and women from 1986-96 using the Office for National Statistics' longitudinal study and new socioeconomic classification. To assess the relative importance of social class (based on employment characteristics) and social position according to the general social advantage of the household to mortality risk in men and women. Design Prospective study. Setting England and Wales. Subjects Men and women of working age at the time of the 1981 census, with a recorded occupation. Main outcome measures Mortality. Results In men, social class based on employment relations, measured according to the Office for National Statistics' socioeconomic classification, was the most important influence on mortality. In women, social class based on individual employment relations and conditions showed only a weak gradient. Large differences in risk of mortality in women were found, however, when social position was measured according to the general social advantage in the household. Conclusions Comparisons of the extent of health inequality in men and women are affected by the measures of social inequality used. For women, even those in paid work, classifications based on characteristics of the employment situation may give a considerable underestimate. The Office for National Statistics' new measure of socioeconomic position is useful for assessing health inequality in men, but in women a more important predictor of mortality is inequality in general social advantage of the household. PMID:10807620

  2. Ethnocentric approach to address South Asian health issues.

    PubMed

    Sharif, A

    2012-09-01

    South Asian populations have distinct healthcare requirements to other ethnic demographics. Epidemiologically they constitute a high-risk group for many public health diseases such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. Despite individuals of South Asian backgrounds encompassing many individual countries, cultures, religions and backgrounds they share many common health concerns that are poorly tackled in established models of healthcare delivery. To successfully address this burgeoning public health burden, it is important for healthcare professionals and providers to appreciate the need for an ethnocentric approach to South Asian health requirements. Key stakeholders need to understand the need for an integrated ethnocentric approach to challenge the poor health status of this population. Appreciation of the socio-cultural dimension to South Asian healthcare requirements should help guide targeted and focused strategies to improve the outlook for this unique population at high public health risk. PMID:22753671

  3. Inequity in household's capacity to pay and health payments in Tehran-Iran-2013

    PubMed Central

    Rezapour, Aziz; Ebadifard Azar, Farbod; Azami Aghdash, Saber; Tanoomand, Asghar; Ahmadzadeh, Nahal; Sarabi Asiabar, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: Health inequality monitoring especially in Health care financing field is very important. Hence, this study tends to assess the inequality in household's capacity to pay and out-of-pocket health carepaymentsin Tehran metropolis. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed in 2013.Thestudy population was selected by stratified cluster sampling, and they constitute the typical households living in Tehran (2200 households). The required data were collected through questionnaires and analyzed using Excel and Stata v.11. Concentration Index on inequality was used for measuring inequality status in capacity to pay and household payments for health care expenses; and also the concentration index for out-of-pocket payments and capacity to pay was used to determine the extent of inequality. The recall period for inpatient care was one year and 1 month for outpatient. Results: The average of out-of-pocket payments for receiving the outpatient services was determined to be 44.33US$ and for each inpatient1861.11 US$. Concentration index for household's outof- pocket payments for inpatient health care, out-of-pocket payments for outpatient health care and health prepayments were calculated 0.13, -0.10 and -0.11, respectively. Also, concentration index in household’s capacity to pay was estimated to be 0.11whichindicatedinequality to the benefit of the rich. The households used financing strategies like savings, borrowing or lending to pay their health care expenditures. Conclusion: According to this study, the poor spend a greater portion of their capacity to pay for outpatient and inpatient health care costs and prepayment, in comparison to the rich. Thus, supporting the vulnerable groups of the society to decrease out-of-pocket payments and increasing the household’s capacity to pay through government support in order to improve the household economic potential, must be considered very important. PMID:26793636

  4. Iranian Households’ Payments on Food and Health Out-of-Pocket Expenditures: Evidence of Inequality

    PubMed Central

    GHIASVAND, Hesam; NAGHDI, Seyran; ABOLHASSANI, Nazanin; SHAARBAFCHIZADEH, Nasrin; MOGHRI, Javad

    2015-01-01

    Background: Inequality in households’ payments on food and health expenditures presents the accessibility and utilization 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 calculated 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, respectively. The means of concentration index of food expenditures for rural and urban regions were 0.35 and 0.34, respectively. The means of Out-of-Pocket payments for health services for rural and urban regions were 0.51 and 0.5, respectively. 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. PMID:26587474

  5. Neighbourhood Deprivation, Health Inequalities and Service Access by Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Cross-Sectional Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, S. A.; McConnachie, A.; Allan, L. M.; Melville, C.; Smiley, E.; Morrison, J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Adults with intellectual disabilities (IDs) experience health inequalities and are more likely to live in deprived areas. The aim of this study was to determine whether the extent of deprivation of the area a person lives in affects their access to services, hence contributing to health inequalities. Method: A cross-sectional study…

  6. Introduction: the need to address older women's mental health issues.

    PubMed

    Malatesta, Victor J

    2007-01-01

    Women are the primary consumers of mental health services. Ironically, research addressing their unique needs lags behind that of men's issues. The aging process introduces an important variable that accentuates the relative lack of information and specific treatment guidelines for older women who are confronted by mental health problems. This volume offers a comprehensive overview for the health professional who is seeking a greater depth of understanding with respect to the study of mental health problems in general, and how these issues pertain specifically to women and the aging process. A second goal of this project is to provide the practicing therapist and counselor with a research update and a broad clinical perspective offered by seasoned clinicians. Using current psychiatric diagnosis as a framework, the contributions address the range of mental health problems, including dementia and cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, traumatic and dissociative conditions, sexual and eating disorders, and personality disorders. It is hoped that this book will inform, inspire and encourage students and health professionals in their work with middle aged and older women who are facing mental health challenges. PMID:17588876

  7. Linking Obesity Prevention and Mental Health Promotion to Address Health Disparities.

    PubMed

    Claydon, Elizabeth; Austin, Anna; Smith, Megan V

    2016-05-01

    Considerable racial health disparities exist, especially in mental health and obesity. However, few approaches exist to address obesity and mental health simultaneously in minority groups. An intervention to address mental health in a low-income, minority group of urban mothers was designed using results from a needs assessment. Participating women were asked to rank their top health concerns and personal goals. Along with mental health concerns and basic needs, the majority of mothers desired assistance with improving their physical well-being. These results are surprising, but lend credence to creating interventions that aim to address both mental health and obesity concerns simultaneously. PMID:26303902

  8. The ethics of everyday practice in primary medical care: responding to social health inequities

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    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

  9. Challenges in Diabetes Care: Can Digital Health Help Address Them?

    PubMed

    Iyengar, Varun; Wolf, Alexander; Brown, Adam; Close, Kelly

    2016-07-01

    In Brief There is great enthusiasm for the potential of digital health solutions in medicine and diabetes to address key care challenges: patient and provider burden, lack of data to inform therapeutic decision-making, poor access to care, and costs. However, the field is still in its nascent days; many patients and providers do not currently engage with digital health tools, and for those who do, the burden is still often high. Over time, digital health has excellent potential to collect data more seamlessly, make collected data more useful, and drive better outcomes at lower costs in less time. But there is still much to prove. This review offers key background information on the current state of digital health in diabetes, six of the most promising digital health technologies and services, and the challenges that remain. PMID:27621530

  10. The impact of economic crises on social inequalities in health: what do we know so far?

    PubMed

    Bacigalupe, Amaia; Escolar-Pujolar, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25063518

  11. A Systematic Literature Review of Studies Analyzing Inequalities in Health Expectancy among the Older Population

    PubMed Central

    Pongiglione, Benedetta; De Stavola, Bianca L.; Ploubidis, George B.

    2015-01-01

    Aim To collect, organize and appraise evidence of socioeconomic and demographic inequalities in health and mortality among the older population using a summary measure of population health: Health Expectancy. Methods A systematic literature review was conducted. Literature published in English before November 2014 was searched via two possible sources: three electronic databases (Web of Science, Medline and Embase), and references in selected articles. The search was developed combining terms referring to outcome, exposure and participants, consisting in health expectancy, socioeconomic and demographic groups, and older population, respectively. Results Of 256 references identified, 90 met the inclusion criteria. Six references were added after searching reference lists of included articles. Thirty-three studies were focused only on gender-based inequalities; the remaining sixty-three considered gender along with other exposures. Findings were organized according to two leading perspectives: the type of inequalities considered and the health indicators chosen to measure health expectancy. Evidence of gender-based differentials and a socioeconomic gradient were found in all studies. A remarkable heterogeneity in the choice of health indicators used to compute health expectancy emerged as well as a non-uniform way of defining same health conditions. Conclusions Health expectancy is a useful and convenient measure to monitor and assess the quality of ageing and compare different groups and populations. This review showed a general agreement of results obtained in different studies with regard to the existence of inequalities associated with several factors, such as gender, education, behaviors, and race. However, the lack of a standardized definition of health expectancy limits its comparability across studies. The need of conceiving health expectancy as a comparable and repeatable measure was highlighted as fundamental to make it an informative instrument for policy

  12. Association of Health and Food Expenditures Inequality With Health Outcomes: A Case Study on Iranian Rural Households

    PubMed Central

    Naghdi, Seyran; Ghiasvand, Hesam; Shaarbafchi Zadeh, Nasrin; Azami, Saeidreza; Moradi, Tayebeh

    2014-01-01

    Background: Inequality in households’ and individuals' consumption expenditures is one of the most important aspects of health status difference among households and individuals. Objectives: We investigated the impact of some macro-economic factors specially inequality factors on the Iranian rural health status since 1986 through 2012. Patients and Methods: We conducted a longitudinal ecological and analytical study. The average sample size was 14602 households whom Iranian Statistics Center selected by a multi-stages clustering sampling approach. All required data has been collected from Iranian Statistics Centre and Deputy for Curial Affaires of Iranian Ministry of Health. We calculated the Gini coefficients for the rural food and health expenditures, then conducted a transloge autoregressive order one (AR1) to investigate the association between the Iranian rural households' key mortality rates and the food and health expenditure Gini coefficients, time trend, GDP per capita (PPP), and GDP per capita Gini coefficients. Results: The mean of Gini coefficients were 0.137 and 0.21 for the rural food expenditures inequality based on current and constant price, respectively. In addition, the mean of Gini coefficients were 0.26 and 0.31 for the rural health expenditures inequality based on current and constant price, respectively. The time trend, transloged form of Gini coefficients for health expenditures and GDP per capita Gini coefficients presented a significant negative correlation with transloged form of neonatal mortality rate. With regard to the transloged form of under five mortality we observed a significant negative correlation with time trend and transloged form of Gini coefficients for health expenditure and GDP per capita. Finally, there was a significant negative correlation between transloged forms of maternal mortality rate. Conclusions: Iranian policy makers should consider the rural health and food expenditures inequality and try to adopt more

  13. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Mental Health of Adult Population: Serbian National Health Survey

    PubMed Central

    Santric-Milicevic, Milena; Jankovic, Janko; Trajkovic, Goran; Terzic-Supic, Zorica; Babic, Uros; Petrovic, Marija

    2016-01-01

    Background: The global burden of mental disorders is rising. In Serbia, anxiety is the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years. Serbia has no mental health survey at the population level. The information on prevalence of mental disorders and related socioeconomic inequalities are valuable for mental care improvement. Aims: To explore the prevalence of mental health disorders and socioeconomic inequalities in mental health of adult Serbian population, and to explore whether age years and employment status interact with mental health in urban and rural settlements. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: This study is an additional analysis of Serbian Health Survey 2006 that was carried out with standardized household questionnaires at the representative sample of 7673 randomly selected households – 15563 adults. The response rate was 93%. A multivariate logistic regression modeling highlighted the predictors of the 5 item Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5), and of chronic anxiety or depression within eight independent variables (age, gender, type of settlement, marital status and self-perceived health, education, employment status and Wealth Index). The significance level in descriptive statistics, chi square analysis and bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions was set at p<0.05. Results: Chronic anxiety or depression was seen in 4.9% of the respondents, and poor MHI-5 in 47% of respondents. Low education (Odds Ratios 1.32; 95% confidence intervals=1.16–1.51), unemployment (1.36; 1.18–1.56), single status (1.34; 1.23–1.45), and Wealth Index middle class (1.20; 1.08–1.32) or poor (1.33; 1.21–1.47) were significantly related with poor MHI-5. Unemployed persons in urban settlements had higher odds for poormMHI-5 than unemployed in rural areas (0.73; 0.59–0.89). Single (1.50; 1.26–1.78), unemployed (1.39; 1.07–1.80) and inactive respondents (1.42; 1.10–1.83) had a higher odds of chronic anxiety or depression than married

  14. Addressing Maternal and Newborn Health: A Leadership Perspective.

    PubMed

    Mancuso, Leslie; Johnson, Peter; Hart, Leah; Austin, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Globally, each year 289,000 mothers die in childbirth and three million infants die in the first four weeks of life. The shortcomings in maternal and newborn health are particularly devastating in low-resource countries. This qualitative study describes the experience of an international nongovernmental organization, Jhpiego, which has been implementing public health programs to address maternal and newborn health outcomes for more than 40 years. Themes emerged from interviews with leaders of offices in a variety of countries with unique challenges related to health systems, human resources and infrastructure. Results emphasized the importance of partnerships with governments and international agencies for long-term program impact, as well as the recruitment of local talent for improving health systems to address problems that are best understood by the people who live and work in these countries. The discussion of program successes and challenges may inform best practices for promoting the health and wellness of women and families around the world. PMID:26860758

  15. The intergenerational transmission of inequality: Maternal disadvantage and health at birth

    PubMed Central

    Aizer, Anna; Currie, Janet

    2015-01-01

    Health at birth is an important predictor of long-term outcomes, including education, income, and disability. Recent evidence suggests that maternal disadvantage leads to worse health at birth through poor health behaviors; exposure to harmful environmental factors; worse access to medical care, including family planning; and worse underlying maternal health. With increasing inequality, those at the bottom of the distribution now face relatively worse economic conditions, but newborn health among the most disadvantaged has actually improved. The most likely explanation is increasing knowledge about determinants of infant health and how to protect it along with public policies that put this knowledge into practice. PMID:24855261

  16. Statistical Properties of Generalized Gini Coefficient with Application to Health Inequality Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Dejian; Huang, Jin; Risser, Jan M.; Kapadia, Asha S.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  17. Health inequalities in European cities: perceptions and beliefs among local policymakers

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Ethnic health inequalities in Europe. The moderating and amplifying role of healthcare system characteristics.

    PubMed

    Blom, Niels; Huijts, Tim; Kraaykamp, Gerbert

    2016-06-01

    Health inequalities between ethnic majority and ethnic minority members are prevalent in contemporary European societies. In this study we used theories on socioeconomic deprivation and intersectionality to derive expectations on how ethnic inequalities in health may be exacerbated or mitigated by national healthcare policies. To test our hypotheses we used data from six waves of the European Social Survey (2002-2012) on 172,491 individuals living in 24 countries. In line with previous research, our results showed that migrants report lower levels of health than natives. In general a country's healthcare expenditure appears to reduce socioeconomic differences in health, but at the same time induces health differences between recent migrants and natives. We also found that specific policies aimed at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in health appeared to work as intended, but as a side-effect amplified differences between natives and recent migrants in self-assessed health and well-being. Finally, our results indicated that policies specifically directed at the improvement of migrants' health, only affected well-being for migrants who have lived in the receiving country for more than 10 years. PMID:27107711

  19. New approaches for moving upstream: how state and local health departments can transform practice to reduce health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Freudenberg, Nicholas; Franzosa, Emily; Chisholm, Janice; Libman, Kimberly

    2015-04-01

    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" behavioral risks. Three factors explain the difficulty in translating this knowledge into practice. First, in their allegiance to the status quo, powerful elites often resist upstream policies and programs that redistribute wealth and power. Second, public health practice is often grounded in dominant biomedical and behavioral paradigms, and health departments also face legal and political limits on expanding their scope of activities. Finally, the evidence for the impact of upstream interventions is limited, in part because methodologies for evaluating upstream interventions are less developed. To illustrate strategies to overcome these obstacles, we profile recent campaigns in the United States to enact living wages, prevent mortgage foreclosures, and reduce exposure to air pollution. We then examine how health educators working in state and local health departments can transform their practice to contribute to campaigns that reallocate the wealth and power that shape the living conditions that determine health and health inequalities. We also consider health educators' role in producing the evidence that can guide transformative expansion of upstream interventions to reduce health inequalities. PMID:25829117

  20. Nutritional metabolomics: Progress in addressing complexity in diet and health

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Dean P.; Park, Youngja; Ziegler, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

    Nutritional metabolomics is rapidly maturing to use small molecule chemical profiling to support integration of diet and nutrition in complex biosystems research. These developments are critical to facilitate transition of nutritional sciences from population-based to individual-based criteria for nutritional research, assessment and management. This review addresses progress in making these approaches manageable for nutrition research. Important concept developments concerning the exposome, predictive health and complex pathobiology, serve to emphasize the central role of diet and nutrition in integrated biosystems models of health and disease. Improved analytic tools and databases for targeted and non-targeted metabolic profiling, along with bioinformatics, pathway mapping and computational modeling, are now used for nutrition research on diet, metabolism, microbiome and health associations. These new developments enable metabolome-wide association studies (MWAS) and provide a foundation for nutritional metabolomics, along with genomics, epigenomics and health phenotyping, to support integrated models required for personalized diet and nutrition forecasting. PMID:22540256

  1. Addressing health disparities: the role of an African American health ministry committee.

    PubMed

    Austin, Sandra; Harris, Gertrude

    2011-01-01

    Healthy People 2010 identified the need to address health disparities among African Americans, Asians, American Indians, Hispanics, Alaskan American, and Pacific Islanders. These are groups disproportionately affected by cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV infection, and AIDSs. Despite the growing body of research on health disparities and effective interventions, there is a great need to learn more about culturally appropriate interventions. Social work professional values and ethics require that service delivery be culturally competent and effective. Social workers can collaborate with community based health promotion services, exploring new ways to ensure that health disparities can be addressed in institutions to which African Americans belong. This article presents findings of an African American health ministry committee's health promotion initiatives and probed the viability of a health ministry committee' role in addressing health disparities through education. The promising role of the Black church in addressing health disparities is explored. PMID:21213192

  2. Inequities in the global health workforce: the greatest impediment to health in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Anyangwe, Stella C E; Mtonga, Chipayeni

    2007-06-01

    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 world'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 world's population, bear only 10% of the world's disease burden, have 37% of the global health workforce and spend about 50% of the world's financial resources for health. Conversely, sub-Saharan Africa, with about 11% of the world'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 world'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 country'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 2.4 million doctors, nurses and midwives. Thirty six of these countries are in sub- Saharan Africa. They would need to

  3. Prioritizing action on health inequities in cities: An evaluation of Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART) in 15 cities from Asia and Africa.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Amit; Kano, Megumi; Dagg, Kendra Ann-Masako; Mori, Hanako; Senkoro, Hawa Hamisi; Ardakani, Mohammad Assai; Elfeky, Samar; Good, Suvajee; Engelhardt, Katrin; Ross, Alex; Armada, Francisco

    2015-11-01

    Following the recommendations of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2008), the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (HEART) to support local stakeholders in identifying and planning action on health inequities. The objective of this report is to analyze the experiences of cities in implementing Urban HEART in order to inform how the future development of the tool could support local stakeholders better in addressing health inequities. The study method is documentary analysis from independent evaluations and city implementation reports submitted to WHO. Independent evaluations were conducted in 2011-12 on Urban HEART piloting in 15 cities from seven countries in Asia and Africa: Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Local or national health departments led Urban HEART piloting in 12 of the 15 cities. Other stakeholders commonly engaged included the city council, budget and planning departments, education sector, urban planning department, and the Mayor's office. Ten of the 12 core indicators recommended in Urban HEART were collected by at least 10 of the 15 cities. Improving access to safe water and sanitation was a priority equity-oriented intervention in 12 of the 15 cities, while unemployment was addressed in seven cities. Cities who piloted Urban HEART displayed confidence in its potential by sustaining or scaling up its use within their countries. Engagement of a wider group of stakeholders was more likely to lead to actions for improving health equity. Indicators that were collected were more likely to be acted upon. Quality of data for neighbourhoods within cities was one of the major issues. As local governments and stakeholders around the world gain greater control of decisions regarding their health, Urban HEART could prove to be a valuable tool in helping them pursue the goal of health equity. PMID:26456133

  4. Improving governance to improve oral health: addressing care delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Paul

    2012-09-01

    The evolving role of the state in the provision of health care has seen the adoption of new management philosophies to ensure that goals set for the system are reached. In particular, the term New Public Management (NPM) has tended to dominate reforms to help address perceived shortcomings in public sector services. NPM is based on the use of freemarket type arrangements as a mechanism to solve problems, the control of which provides new challenges. One particular challenge that has arisen from the combination of NPM with the large number of agencies involved in care provision is that of addressing the issues arising from the improved understanding of the determinants of health. This has led to the evolution of differing care arrangements across differing sectors at all levels. If resources are to be used as intended, the control of delivery systems to oversee their use must exist. The overarching term for such activity is â governance. This paper provides an overview of the issues that arise for addressing governance of oral health care and the subsequent challenges that face those responsible for ensuring compliance. PMID:22976573

  5. Occupational epidemiology and work related inequalities in health: a gender perspective for two complementary approaches to work and health research

    PubMed Central

    Artazcoz, Lucía; Borrell, Carme; Cortès, Imma; Escribà‐Agüir, Vicenta; Cascant, Lorena

    2007-01-01

    Objectives To provide a framework for epidemiological research on work and health that combines classic occupational epidemiology and the consideration of work in a structural perspective focused on gender inequalities in health. Methods Gaps and limitations in classic occupational epidemiology, when considered from a gender perspective, are described. Limitations in research on work related gender inequalities in health are identified. Finally, some recommendations for future research are proposed. Results Classic occupational epidemiology has paid less attention to women's problems than men's. Research into work related gender inequalities in health has rarely considered either social class or the impact of family demands on men's health. In addition, it has rarely taken into account the potential interactions between gender, social class, employment status and family roles and the differences in social determinants of health according to the health indicator analysed. Conclusions Occupational epidemiology should consider the role of sex and gender in examining exposures and associated health problems. Variables should be used that capture the specific work environments and health conditions of both sexes. The analysis of work and health from a gender perspective should take into account the complex interactions between gender, family roles, employment status and social class. PMID:18000116

  6. CROSS-NATIONAL SOURCES OF HEALTH INEQUALITY: EDUCATION AND TOBACCO USE IN THE WORLD HEALTH SURVEY*

    PubMed Central

    Pampel, Fred C.; Denney, Justin T.; Krueger, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    The spread of tobacco use from the West to other parts of the world, especially among disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, raises concerns not only about the indisputable harm to global health but also about worsening health inequality. Arguments relating to economic cost and diffusion posit that rising educational disparities in tobacco use—and associated disparities in health and premature mortality—are associated with higher national income and more advanced stages of cigarette diffusion, particularly among younger persons and males. To test these arguments, we use World Health Survey data for 99,661 men and 123,953 women from 50 low-income to upper-middle-income nations. Multilevel logistic regression models show that increases in national income and cigarette diffusion widen educational disparities in smoking among young persons and men, but have weaker influences among older persons and women. The results suggest that the social and economic patterns of cigarette adoption across low- and middle-income nations foretell continuing, perhaps widening disparities in mortality. PMID:21491184

  7. [What strategy can be developed by a regional health agency to reduce social inequalities in health?].

    PubMed

    Coruble, Gérard; Sauze, Laurent; Riff, Hugues

    2014-01-01

    Reducing social inequalities in health (SIH) is a key priority for the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Regional Health Agency (Paca ARS). The actions and objectives defined in the regional health project were divided into a two-way table (determinants/policies by target population) to verify the consistency and extent of such measures. Sustaining actions of the ARS, alone or in partnership on the determinants of SIH and their effects, target three distinct levels of intervention: in the scope of its own jurisdiction, as a resource for other actors, including support of action research and finally in the context of partnership approaches. It has developed fine measurement and monitoring tools and has supported the development of a continuing education e-learning programme developed with partners in Paca and Quebec. However, further efforts are needed to develop actions on fundamental determinants, including environmental determinants and more effective implementation of this policy. The objectives of certain territorial health programmes designed to make local primary care structures responsible for the population concerned are very promising. PMID:25490221

  8. Income-related inequality in perceived oral health among adult Finns before and after a major dental subsidization reform.

    PubMed

    Raittio, Eero; Aromaa, Arpo; Kiiskinen, Urpo; Helminen, Sari; Suominen, Anna Liisa

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:26980421

  9. From built environment to health inequalities: An explanatory framework based on evidence

    PubMed Central

    Gelormino, Elena; Melis, Giulia; Marietta, Cristina; Costa, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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. PMID:26844145

  10. The medicalisation of health inequalities and the English NHS: the role of resource allocation.

    PubMed

    Asthana, Sheena; Gibson, Alex; Halliday, Joyce

    2013-04-01

    Tackling health inequalities (HI) has become a key policy objective in England in recent years. Yet, despite the wide-ranging policy response of the 1997-2010 Labour Government, socio-economic variations in health continued to widen. In this paper, we seek to explore why. We propose that a meta-narrative has emerged in which the health problems facing England's most deprived areas, and the solution to those problems, have increasingly come to be linked to levels of National Health Service (NHS) funding. This has been, in part, a response to key shortcomings in previous rounds of resource allocation. The very significant sums of money allocated with respect to 'health inequalities' reflects and reinforces the belief that the NHS can and should play a central role in promoting health equity. This medicalisation of HI focuses attention on the role of individual risk factors that lend themselves to medical management, but effectively sidelines the macroprocesses of social inequality, legitimising the kind of society that neo-liberal government has produced in the United Kingdom - one in which health (like other assets) has become a matter of individual and not collective responsibility. PMID:22947257

  11. Strengthening the capacities of a national health authority in the effort to mitigate health inequity-the Israeli model.

    PubMed

    Horev, Tuvia; Avni, Shlomit

    2016-01-01

    The need for a national policy to mitigate health inequity has been recognized in scientific research and policy papers around the world. Despite the moral duty and the social, medical, and economic logic behind this goal, much difficulty surfaces in implementing national policies that propose to attain it. This is mainly due to an implementation gap that originates in the complex interventions that are needed and the lack of practical ability to translate knowledge into practices and policy tools. The article describes the Israeli attempt to design and implement a national strategic plan to mitigate health inequity. It describes the basic assumptions and objectives of the plan, its main components, and various examples of interventions implemented. Limitations of the Israeli policy and future challenges are discussed as well. Based on the Israeli experience, the article then sketches a generic framework for national-level action to mitigate inequalities in health and in the healthcare system. The framework suggests four main focal points as well as an outline of the main stakeholders that a national policy should take into consideration as agents of change. The Israeli policy and the generic framework presented in the article may serve researchers, decision-makers, and health officials as a case study on ways in which prevalent approaches toward the issue of health inequality may be translated into policy practice. PMID:27529023

  12. Global oral health inequalities: dental caries task group--research agenda.

    PubMed

    Pitts, N; Amaechi, B; Niederman, R; Acevedo, A-M; Vianna, R; Ganss, C; Ismail, A; Honkala, E

    2011-05-01

    The IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Task Group on Dental Caries has synthesized current evidence and opinion to identify a five-year implementation and research agenda which should lead to improvements in global oral health, with particular reference to the implementation of current best evidence as well as integrated action to reduce caries and health inequalities between and within countries. The Group determined that research should: integrate health and oral health wherever possible, using common risk factors; be able to respond to and influence international developments in health, healthcare, and health payment systems as well as dental prevention and materials; and exploit the potential for novel funding partnerships with industry and foundations. More effective communication between and among the basic science, clinical science, and health promotion/public health research communities is needed. Translation of research into policy and practice should be a priority for all. Both community and individual interventions need tailoring to achieve a more equal and person-centered preventive focus and reduce any social gradient in health. Recommendations are made for both clinical and public health implementation of existing research and for caries-related research agendas in clinical science, health promotion/public health, and basic science. PMID:21490233

  13. Social inequalities and access to health: challenges for society and the nursing field.

    PubMed

    Fiorati, Regina Celia; Arcêncio, Ricardo Alexandre; Souza, Larissa Barros de

    2016-01-01

    Objective to present a critical reflection upon the current and different interpretative models of the Social Determinants of Health and inequalities hindering access and the right to health. Method theoretical study using critical hermeneutics to acquire reconstructive understanding based on a dialectical relationship between the explanation and understanding of interpretative models of the social determinants of health and inequalities. Results interpretative models concerning the topic under study are classified. Three generations of interpretative models of the social determinants of health were identified and historically contextualized. The third and current generation presents a historical synthesis of the previous generations, including: neo-materialist theory, psychosocial theory, the theory of social capital, cultural-behavioral theory and the life course theory. Conclusion From dialectical reflection and social criticism emerge a discussion concerning the complementarity of the models of the social determinants of health and the need for a more comprehensive conception of the determinants to guide inter-sector actions to eradicate inequalities that hinder access to health. PMID:27143540

  14. Income inequality, social cohesion, and health: clarifying the theory--a reply to Muntaner and Lynch.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, R G

    1999-01-01

    Statistical evidence suggests that social cohesion provides the link between income inequality and health, but it is not clear how it might do so. The vagueness of the concept of cohesion and the difficulty of seeing how something so apparently ephemeral could exert a major influence on health has led to skepticism about its role in the relation between income distribution and mortality. The author suggests that social cohesion is indicative of underlying psychosocial risk factors that are known to be closely associated with health. Attention is drawn to the strong inverse relationships between measures of social inequality and measures of the quality of social relations in numerous different data sets. Given that social status and social affiliations, in terms of population-attributable risks, are among the most powerful influences on population health in the developed world, this is a potentially potent mixture for health. An antipathy between hierarchical relations across inequalities of power, income, and status on the one hand, and supportive social relations between equals on the other, is likely to exert a powerful influence on health. PMID:10450545

  15. Economic Inequalities in Latin America at the Base of Adverse Health Indicators.

    PubMed

    Ferre, Juan Cruz

    2016-07-01

    There is increasing evidence supporting the existence of a link between income inequalities and health outcomes. The main purpose of this article is to test whether economic inequalities are associated with poor population health in Latin American countries. Multi-country data from 1970 to 2012 were used to assess this question. The results show that the Gini coefficient has a strong correlation with health outcomes. Moreover, multiple linear regression analysis using fixed effects shows that after controlling for gross national income per capita, literacy rate, and health expenditure, the Gini coefficient is independently negatively associated with health outcomes. In Latin American countries, for every percentage point increase in the Gini coefficient, the infant mortality rate grows by 0.467 deaths per 1,000 live births, holding all other variables constant. Additionally, an ordinary least squares estimation model suggests that countries that do not use International Monetary Fund loans perform better on health outcomes. These findings should alert policymakers, elected officials, and the public of the need to fight income inequalities and rethink the role of international financial institutions that dictate state policies. PMID:27287670

  16. Are health inequalities really not the smallest in the Nordic welfare states? A comparison of mortality inequality in 37 countries

    PubMed Central

    Popham, Frank; Dibben, Chris; Bambra, Clare

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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). Conclusions 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. PMID:23386671

  17. Welfare state, labour market inequalities and health. In a global context: an integrated framework. SESPAS report 2010.

    PubMed

    Muntaner, Carles; Benach, Joan; Chung, Haejoo; Edwin, N G; Schrecker, Ted

    2010-12-01

    Since the nineteen seventies, high- and low-income countries have undergone a pattern of transnational economic and cultural integration known as globalization. The weight of the available evidence suggests that the effects of globalization on labor markets have increased economic inequality and various forms of economic insecurity that negatively affect workers' health. Research on the relation between labor markets and health is hampered by the social invisibility of many of these health inequalities. Empirical evidence of the impact of employment relations on health inequalities is scarce for low-income countries, small firms, rural settings, and sectors of the economy in which "informality" is widespread. Information is also scarce on the effectiveness of labor market interventions in reducing health inequalities. This pattern is likely to continue in the future unless governments adopt active labor market policies. Such policies include creating jobs through state intervention, regulating the labor market to protect employment, supporting unions, and ensuring occupational safety and health standards. PMID:21075490

  18. Childhood Health and Labor Market Inequality over the Life Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haas, Steven A.; Glymour, M. Maria; Berkman, Lisa F.

    2011-01-01

    The authors use data from the Health and Retirement Study's Earnings Benefit File, which links Health and Retirement Study to Social Security Administration records, to estimate the impact of childhood health on earnings curves between the ages of 25 and 50 years. They also investigate the extent to which diminished educational attainment, earlier…

  19. [Developmental origins of adult health and disease: an important concept for social inequalities in health].

    PubMed

    Charles, M-A

    2013-08-01

    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. PMID:23845205

  20. Health inequalities among urban children in India: a comparative assessment of Empowered Action Group (EAG) and South Indian states.

    PubMed

    Arokiasamy, P; Jain, Kshipra; Goli, Srinivas; Pradhan, Jalandhar

    2013-03-01

    As India rapidly urbanizes, within urban areas socioeconomic disparities are rising and health inequality among urban children is an emerging challenge. This paper assesses the relative contribution of socioeconomic factors to child health inequalities between the less developed Empowered Action Group (EAG) states and more developed South Indian states in urban India using data from the 2005-06 National Family Health Survey. Focusing on urban health from varying regional and developmental contexts, socioeconomic inequalities in child health are examined first using Concentration Indices (CIs) and then the contributions of socioeconomic factors to the CIs of health variables are derived. The results reveal, in order of importance, pronounced contributions of household economic status, parent's illiteracy and caste to urban child health inequalities in the South Indian states. In contrast, parent's illiteracy, poor economic status, being Muslim and child birth order 3 or more are major contributors to health inequalities among urban children in the EAG states. The results suggest the need to adopt different health policy interventions in accordance with the pattern of varying contributions of socioeconomic factors to child health inequalities between the more developed South Indian states and less developed EAG states. PMID:22643297

  1. Explanation of inequality in utilization of ambulatory care before and after universal health insurance in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Yiengprugsawan, V; Carmichael, Ga; Lim, Ll-Y; Seubsman, S; Sleigh, Ac

    2011-03-01

    Thailand implemented a Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) of national health insurance in April 2001 to finance equitable access to health care. This paper compares inequalities in health service use before and after the UCS, and analyses the trend and determinants of inequality. The national Health and Welfare Surveys of 2001 and 2005 are used for this study. The concentration index for use of ambulatory care among the population reporting a recent illness is used as a measure of health inequality, decomposed into contributing demographic, socio-economic, geographic and health insurance determinants. As a result of the UCS, the uninsured group fell from 24% in 2001 to 3% in 2005 and health service patterns changed. Use of public primary health care facilities such as health centres became more concentrated among the poor, while use of provincial/general hospitals became more concentrated among the better-off. Decomposition analysis shows that the increasingly common use of health centres among the poor in 2005 was substantially associated with those with lower income, residence in the rural northeast and the introduction of the UCS. The increasing use of provincial/general hospitals and private clinics among the better-off in 2005 was substantially associated with the government and private employee insurance schemes. Although the UCS scheme has achieved its objective in increasing insurance coverage and utilization of primary health services, our findings point to the need for future policies to focus on the quality of this primary care and equitable referrals to secondary and tertiary health facilities when required. PMID:20736414

  2. Health reform in Mexico: the promotion of inequality.

    PubMed

    Laurell, A C

    2001-01-01

    The Mexican health reform can be understood only in the context of neoliberal structural adjustment, and it reveals some of the basic characteristics of similar reforms in the Latin American region. The strategy to transform the predominantly public health care system into a market-driven system has been a complex process with a hidden agenda to avoid political resistance. The compulsory social security system is the key sector in opening health care to private insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and hospital enterprises mainly from abroad. Despite the government's commitment to universal coverage, equity, efficiency, and quality, the empirical data analyzed in this article do not confirm compliance with these objectives. Although an alternative health policy that gradually grants the constitutional right to health would be feasible, the new democratically elected government will continue the previous regressive health reform. PMID:11407172

  3. Environmental Health Related Socio-Spatial Inequalities: Identifying "Hotspots" of Environmental Burdens and Social Vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Rehana; Flacke, Johannes; Martinez, Javier; van Maarseveen, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Differential exposure to multiple environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across a population with varying vulnerability can contribute heavily to health inequalities. Particularly relevant are areas with high cumulative burdens and high social vulnerability termed as "hotspots". This paper develops an index-based approach to assess these multiple burdens and benefits in combination with vulnerability factors at detailed intra-urban level. The method is applied to the city of Dortmund, Germany. Using non-spatial and spatial methods we assessed inequalities and identified "hotspot" areas in the city. We found modest inequalities burdening higher vulnerable groups in Dortmund (CI = -0.020 at p < 0.05). At the detailed intra-urban level, however, inequalities showed strong geographical patterns. Large numbers of "hotspots" exist in the northern part of the city compared to the southern part. A holistic assessment, particularly at a detailed local level, considering both environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across the population with the different vulnerability, is essential to inform environmental justice debates and to mobilize local stakeholders. Locating "hotspot" areas at this detailed spatial level can serve as a basis to develop interventions that target vulnerable groups to ensure a health conducive equal environment. PMID:27409625

  4. Impact of environmental inequity on health outcome: where is the epidemiological evidence?

    PubMed Central

    René, A. A.; Daniels, D. E.; Martin, S. A.

    2000-01-01

    A significant amount of evidence reveals a presence of environmental inequity. Although there is a disproportionate distribution of waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities, and chemical and manufacturing plants in minority and low-income communities in the United States, little research has been devoted to show any associations based on analytic epidemiological methods. To date, attempts to quantify health disparities have included demographic data, race, sex, income, other socioeconomic factors, and broad symptomatic survey instruments. To study this, we examined the latest epidemiological evidence documenting the existence of adverse health impacts resulting from environmental inequity. We observed that the overwhelming majority of studies were descriptive in nature and lacked comparison populations. As a result, we believe that further research based on analytic epidemiological methods would further contribute to the determination of the cause-effect relationship between environmental exposure and health outcome. PMID:10918762

  5. Socioeconomic inequalities in the access to and quality of health care services

    PubMed Central

    Nunes, Bruno Pereira; Thumé, Elaine; Tomasi, Elaine; Duro, Suele Manjourany Silva; Facchini, Luiz Augusto

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To assess the inequalities in access, utilization, and quality of health care services according to the socioeconomic status. METHODS This population-based cross-sectional study evaluated 2,927 individuals aged ≥ 20 years living in Pelotas, RS, Southern Brazil, in 2012. The associations between socioeconomic indicators and the following outcomes were evaluated: lack of access to health services, utilization of services, waiting period (in days) for assistance, and waiting time (in hours) in lines. We used Poisson regression for the crude and adjusted analyses. RESULTS The lack of access to health services was reported by 6.5% of the individuals who sought health care. The prevalence of use of health care services in the 30 days prior to the interview was 29.3%. Of these, 26.4% waited five days or more to receive care and 32.1% waited at least an hour in lines. Approximately 50.0% of the health care services were funded through the Unified Health System. The use of health care services was similar across socioeconomic groups. The lack of access to health care services and waiting time in lines were higher among individuals of lower economic status, even after adjusting for health care needs. The waiting period to receive care was higher among those with higher socioeconomic status. CONCLUSIONS Although no differences were observed in the use of health care services across socioeconomic groups, inequalities were evident in the access to and quality of these services. PMID:26039400

  6. The role of ethnic and rural discrimination in the relationship between income inequality and health in Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Poder, Thomas G; He, Jie

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25813502

  7. The role of workplace health promotion in addressing job stress.

    PubMed

    Noblet, Andrew; Lamontagne, Anthony D

    2006-12-01

    The enormous human and economic costs associated with occupational stress suggest that initiatives designed to prevent and/or reduce employee stress should be high on the agenda of workplace health promotion (WHP) programmes. Although employee stress is often the target of WHP, reviews of job stress interventions suggest that the common approach to combating job stress is to focus on the individual without due consideration of the direct impacts of working conditions on health as well as the effects of working conditions on employees' ability to adopt and sustain 'healthy' behaviours. The purpose of the first part of this paper is to highlight the criticisms of the individual approach to job stress and to examine the evidence for developing strategies that combine both individual and organizational-directed interventions (referred to as the comprehensive approach). There is a risk that WHP practitioners may lose sight of the role that they can play in developing and implementing the comprehensive approach, particularly in countries where occupational health and safety authorities are placing much more emphasis on identifying and addressing organizational sources of job stress. The aim of the second part of this paper is therefore to provide a detailed description of what the comprehensive approach to stress prevention/reduction looks like in practice and to examine the means by which WHP can help develop initiatives that address both the sources and the symptoms of job stress. PMID:16880197

  8. Unemployment, informal work, precarious employment, child labor, slavery, and health inequalities: pathways and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Muntaner, Carles; Solar, Orielle; Vanroelen, Christophe; Martínez, José Miguel; Vergara, Montserrat; Santana, Vilma; Castedo, Antía; Kim, Il-Ho; Benach, Joan

    2010-01-01

    The study explores the pathways and mechanisms of the relation between employment conditions and health inequalities. A significant amount of published research has proved that workers in several risky types of labor--precarious employment, unemployment, informal labor, child and bonded labor--are exposed to behavioral, psychosocial, and physio-pathological pathways leading to physical and mental health problems. Other pathways, linking employment to health inequalities, are closely connected to hazardous working conditions (material and social deprivation, lack of social protection, and job insecurity), excessive demands, and unattainable work effort, with little power and few rewards (in salaries, fringe benefits, or job stability). Differences across countries in the social contexts and types of jobs result in varying pathways, but the general conceptual model suggests that formal and informal power relations between employees and employers can determine health conditions. In addition, welfare state regimes (unionization and employment protection) can increase or decrease the risk of mortality, morbidity, and occupational injury. In a multilevel context, however, these micro- and macro-level pathways have yet to be fully studied, especially in middle- and low-income countries. The authors recommend some future areas of study on the pathways leading to employment-related health inequalities, using worldwide standard definitions of the different forms of labor, authentic data, and a theoretical framework. PMID:20440971

  9. Inequalities in social capital and health between people with and without disabilities.

    PubMed

    Mithen, Johanna; Aitken, Zoe; Ziersch, Anne; Kavanagh, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    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

  10. Open access: a giant leap towards bridging health inequities

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Leslie; Arunachalam, Subbiah

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Access to health research publications is an essential requirement in securing the chain of communication from the researcher to the front-line health worker. As the diagram of the knowledge cycle from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research shows, health knowledge generated in the world’s laboratories is passed down the information chain through publications, through its impact and application, its subsequent “translation” into appropriate contexts for different user communities, arriving finally with health workers and the general public. This article focuses on the first link in the chain, from research author to reader, and the free online access to peer-reviewed published articles that are the building blocks for future health innovation developments. PMID:19705015

  11. Childhood health and labor market inequality over the life course.

    PubMed

    Haas, Steven A; Glymour, M Maria; Berkman, Lisa F

    2011-09-01

    The authors use data from the Health and Retirement Study's Earnings Benefit File, which links Health and Retirement Study to Social Security Administration records, to estimate the impact of childhood health on earnings curves between the ages of 25 and 50 years. They also investigate the extent to which diminished educational attainment, earlier onset of chronic health conditions, and labor force participation mediate this relationship. Those who experience poor childhood health have substantially diminished labor market earnings over the work career. For men, earnings differentials grow larger over the early to middle career and then slow down and begin to converge as they near 50 years of age. For women, earnings differentials emerge later in the career and show no evidence of convergence. Part of the child health earnings differential is accounted for by selection into diminished educational attainment, the earlier onset of chronic disease in adulthood, and, particularly for men, labor force participation. PMID:21896684

  12. Health, Health Inequality, and Cost Impacts of Annual Increases in Tobacco Tax: Multistate Life Table Modeling in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Blakely, Tony; Cobiac, Linda J.; Cleghorn, Christine L.; Pearson, Amber L.; van der Deen, Frederieke S.; Kvizhinadze, Giorgi; Nghiem, Nhung; McLeod, Melissa; Wilson, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Background Countries are increasingly considering how to reduce or even end tobacco consumption, and raising tobacco taxes is a potential strategy to achieve these goals. We estimated the impacts on health, health inequalities, and health system costs of ongoing tobacco tax increases (10% annually from 2011 to 2031, compared to no tax increases from 2011 [“business as usual,” BAU]), in a country (New Zealand) with large ethnic inequalities in smoking-related and noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden. Methods and Findings We modeled 16 tobacco-related diseases in parallel, using rich national data by sex, age, and ethnicity, to estimate undiscounted quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained and net health system costs over the remaining life of the 2011 population (n = 4.4 million). A total of 260,000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 155,000–419,000) QALYs were gained among the 2011 cohort exposed to annual tobacco tax increases, compared to BAU, and cost savings were US$2,550 million (95% UI: US$1,480 to US$4,000). QALY gains and cost savings took 50 y to peak, owing to such factors as the price sensitivity of youth and young adult smokers. The QALY gains per capita were 3.7 times greater for Māori (indigenous population) compared to non-Māori because of higher background smoking prevalence and price sensitivity in Māori. Health inequalities measured by differences in 45+ y-old standardized mortality rates between Māori and non-Māori were projected to be 2.31% (95% UI: 1.49% to 3.41%) less in 2041 with ongoing tax rises, compared to BAU. Percentage reductions in inequalities in 2041 were maximal for 45–64-y-old women (3.01%). As with all such modeling, there were limitations pertaining to the model structure and input parameters. Conclusions Ongoing tobacco tax increases deliver sizeable health gains and health sector cost savings and are likely to reduce health inequalities. However, if policy makers are to achieve more rapid reductions in the NCD

  13. Child Health Inequality: Framing a Social Work Response

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Virginia Rondero; Montana, Salvador; Clarke, Kris

    2010-01-01

    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…

  14. Social Capital and Health Inequality: Evidence from Taiwan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Lijun; Lin, Nan

    2009-01-01

    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…

  15. Social Capital: Does It Add to the Health Inequalities Debate?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chappell, Neena L.; Funk, Laura M.

    2010-01-01

    This paper empirically examines the relationship between advantage, social capital and health status to assess (a) whether social capital adds explanatory power to what we already know about the relationship between advantage and health and (b) whether social capital adds anything beyond its component parts, namely social participation and trust.…

  16. Intellectual Disability Nursing--Responding to Health Inequity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheerin, Fintan K.

    2012-01-01

    It is being increasingly recognised that the achievement of improved health outcomes for people with learning disabilities is central to the role of learning disability nurses. This is in recognition of the fact that an increasing body of evidence has demonstrated that these people often have poorer health outcomes than those in the mainstream…

  17. International Inequalities: Algebraic Investigations into Health and Economic Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staats, Susan; Robertson, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    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.…

  18. Stigma as a Fundamental Cause of Population Health Inequalities

    PubMed Central

    Phelan, Jo C.

    2013-01-01

    Bodies of research pertaining to specific stigmatized statuses have typically developed in separate domains and have focused on single outcomes at 1 level of analysis, thereby obscuring the full significance of stigma as a fundamental driver of population health. Here we provide illustrative evidence on the health consequences of stigma and present a conceptual framework describing the psychological and structural pathways through which stigma influences health. Because of its pervasiveness, its disruption of multiple life domains (e.g., resources, social relationships, and coping behaviors), and its corrosive impact on the health of populations, stigma should be considered alongside the other major organizing concepts for research on social determinants of population health. PMID:23488505

  19. Millennium Development Goal Four and Child Health Inequities in Indonesia: A Systematic Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Schröders, Julia; Wall, Stig; Kusnanto, Hari; Ng, Nawi

    2015-01-01

    Introduction 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? Methods and Findings 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. Conclusion This review calls for enhanced understanding of the determinants and pathways that create

  20. The Link between Inequality and Population Health in Low and Middle Income Countries: Policy Myth or Social Reality?

    PubMed Central

    van Deurzen, Ioana; van Oorschot, Wim; van Ingen, Erik

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25501652

  1. The link between inequality and population health in low and middle income countries: policy myth or social reality?

    PubMed

    van Deurzen, Ioana; van Oorschot, Wim; van Ingen, Erik

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25501652

  2. Relative inequalities in geographic distribution of health care resources in Kermanshah province, Islamic Republic of Iran.

    PubMed

    Rezaei, S; Karyani, A K; Fallah, R; Matin, B K

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27117646

  3. Health inequalities in Armenia - analysis of survey results”

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22695079

  4. Interweaving Knowledge Resources to Address Complex Environmental Health Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Beth Ellen; Suk, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Complex problems do not respect academic disciplinary boundaries. Environmental health research is complex and often moves beyond these boundaries, integrating diverse knowledge resources to solve such challenges. Here we describe an evolving paradigm for interweaving approaches that integrates widely diverse resources outside of traditional academic environments in full partnerships of mutual respect and understanding. We demonstrate that scientists, social scientists, and engineers can work with government agencies, industry, and communities to interweave their expertise into metaphorical knowledge fabrics to share understanding, resources, and enthusiasm. Objective Our goal is to acknowledge and validate how interweaving research approaches can contribute to research-driven, solution-oriented problem solving in environmental health, and to inspire more members of the environmental health community to consider this approach. Discussion The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (SRP), as mandated by Congress, has evolved to become a program that reaches across a wide range of knowledge resources. SRP fosters interweaving multiple knowledge resources to develop innovative multidirectional partnerships for research and training. Here we describe examples of how motivation, ideas, knowledge, and expertise from different people, institutions, and agencies can integrate to tackle challenges that can be as complex as the resources they bring to bear on it. Conclusions By providing structure for interweaving science with its stakeholders, we are better able to leverage resources, increase potential for innovation, and proactively ensure a more fully developed spectrum of beneficial outcomes of research investments. Citation Anderson BE, Naujokas MF, Suk WA. 2015. Interweaving knowledge resources to address complex environmental health challenges. Environ Health Perspect 123:1095–1099

  5. Social Welfare Policy and Inequalities in Health. Preconceived Truths in Scientific Research.

    PubMed

    Regidor, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27481163

  6. The haves, the have-nots, and the health of everyone: the relationship between social inequality and environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Cushing, Lara; Morello-Frosch, Rachel; Wander, Madeline; Pastor, Manuel

    2015-03-18

    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. PMID:25785890

  7. A multilevel analysis of the effects of neighbourhood income inequality on individual self-rated health in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Wong, Irene O L; Cowling, Benjamin J; Lo, Su-Vui; Leung, Gabriel M

    2009-01-01

    We examined the effect on self-rated health of neighbourhood-level income inequality in Hong Kong, which has a high and growing Gini coefficient. Data were derived from two population household surveys in 2002 and 2005 of 25,623 and 24,610 non-institutional residents aged 15 or over. We estimated neighbourhood-level Gini coefficients in each of 287 Government Planning Department Tertiary Planning Units. We used multilevel regression analysis to assess the association of neighbourhood income inequality with individual self-perceived health status. After adjustment for both individual- and household-level predictors, there was no association between neighbourhood income inequality, median household income or household-level income and self-rated health. We tested for but did not find any statistical interaction between these three income-related exposures. These findings suggest that neighbourhood income inequality is not an important predictor of individual health status in Hong Kong. PMID:18995943

  8. Does early-life income inequality predict self-reported health in later life? Evidence from the United States.

    PubMed

    Lillard, Dean R; Burkhauser, Richard V; Hahn, Markus H; Wilkins, Roger

    2015-03-01

    We investigate the association between adult health and the income inequality they experienced as children up to 80 years earlier. Our inequality data track shares of national income held by top percentiles from 1913 to 2009. We average those data over the same early-life years and merge them to individual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics data for 1984-2009. Controlling for demographic and economic factors, we find both men and women are statistically more likely to report poorer health if income was more unequally distributed during the first years of their lives. The association is robust to alternative specifications of income inequality and time trends and remains significant even when we control for differences in overall childhood health. Our results constitute prima facie evidence that adults' health may be adversely affected by the income inequality they experienced as children. PMID:25577308

  9. Facilitators, Challenges, and Collaborative Activities in Faith and Health Partnerships to Address Health Disparities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kegler, Michelle C.; Hall, Sarah M.; Kiser, Mimi

    2010-01-01

    Interest in partnering with faith-based organizations (FBOs) to address health disparities has grown in recent years. Yet relatively little is known about these types of partnerships. As part of an evaluation of the Institute for Faith and Public Health Collaborations, representatives of 34 faith--health teams (n = 61) completed semi-structured…

  10. Time Trends and Inequalities of Under-Five Mortality in Nepal: A Secondary Data Analysis of Four Demographic and Health Surveys between 1996 and 2011

    PubMed Central

    Sreeramareddy, Chandrashekhar T.; Harsha Kumar, H. N.; Sathian, Brijesh

    2013-01-01

    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'. PMID:24224010

  11. Addressing Health Disparities through Multi-institutional, Multidisciplinary Collaboratories

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Erik S.; Perkins, James; Easa, David; Conde, José G.; Baker, Richard S.; Southerland, William M.; Dottin, Robert; Benabe, Julio E.; Ofili, Elizabeth O.; Bond, Vincent C.; McClure, Shelia A.; Sayre, Michael H.; Beanan, Maureen J.; Norris, Keith C.

    2009-01-01

    The national research leadership has recently become aware of the tremendous potential of translational research as an approach to address health disparities. The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) is a research network that supports multi-institutional, multidisciplinary collaboration with a focus on key diseases and conditions for which disproportionately adverse racial and ethnic health disparities exist. The RTRN is designed to facilitate the movement of scientific advances across the translational research spectrum by providing researchers at different institutions with the infrastructure and tools necessary to collaborate on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects relating to specific health outcomes for which major racial/ethnic disparities exist. In the past, the difficulty of overcoming the restrictions imposed by time and space have made it difficult to carry out this type of large-scale, multilevel collaboration efficiently. To address this formidable challenge, the RTRN will deploy a translational research cluster system that uses “cyber workspaces” to bring researchers with similar interests together by using online collaboratory technology. These virtual meeting environments will provide a number of tools, including videoconferences (seminars, works in progress, meetings); project management tools (WebCT, Microsoft Share Point); and posting areas for projects, concepts, and other research and educational activities. This technology will help enhance access to resources across institutions with a common mission, minimize many of the logistical hurdles that impede intellectual exchange, streamline the planning and implementation of innovative interdisciplinary research, and assess the use of protocols and practices to assist researchers in interacting across and within cyber workspaces. PMID:18646341

  12. Access to health for refugees in Greece: lessons in inequalities.

    PubMed

    Kousoulis, Antonis A; Ioakeim-Ioannidou, Myrsini; Economopoulos, Konstantinos P

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27485633

  13. [Migration: A neglected dimension of inequalities in health?].

    PubMed

    Razum, Oliver; Karrasch, Laura; Spallek, Jacob

    2016-02-01

    Over the past 70 years, several million people have immigrated into Germany-from different countries of origin and for different reasons. The categories used by society to label immigrants ("guest workers", "persons with a migration background") have changed over time. This change has occurred in parallel with changes in the societal attitude towards immigrants and in their legal position. There is unequivocal evidence that the forms that migration takes, in addition to the societal responses towards immigrants, have an effect on their health. The spectrum of migration to Germany is likely to remain fluent because of the continuing process of globalization; also, societal responses to migration will change over time. Thus, migration will continue to pose challenges to society and to health. Only through continuous attentiveness will it be possible to identify, and then avoid or reduce, health disadvantages faced by persons with a migration background. PMID:26661589

  14. An explanatory analysis of economic and health inequality changes among Mexican indigenous people, 2000-2010

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Health inequities experienced by Aboriginal children with respiratory conditions and their parents.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Miriam; King, Malcolm; Blood, Roxanne; Letourneau, Nicole; Masuda, Jeffrey R; Anderson, Sharon; Bearskin, Lisa Bourque

    2013-09-01

    Asthma and allergies are common conditions among Aboriginal children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to assess the health and health-care inequities experienced by affected children and by their parents. Aboriginal research assistants conducted individual interviews with 46 Aboriginal children and adolescents who had asthma and/or allergies (26 First Nations, 19 Métis, 1 Inuit) and 51 parents or guardians of these children and adolescents. Followup group interviews were conducted with 16 adolescents and 25 parents/ guardians. Participants reported inadequate educational resources, environmental vulnerability, social and cultural pressures, exclusion, isolation, stigma, blame, and major support deficits. They also described barriers to health-service access, inadequate health care, disrespectful treatment and discrimination by health-care providers, and deficient health insurance. These children, adolescents, and parents recommended the establishment of culturally appropriate support and education programs delivered by Aboriginal peers and health professionals. PMID:24236369

  16. Social Inequalities and the Oral health in Brazilian Capitals.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Janmille Valdivino; Machado, Flávia Christiane de Azevedo; Ferreira, Maria Angela Fernandes

    2015-08-01

    Despite the improvement of the lives of Brazilians, still persists a panorama of iniquities in health in Brazil. This ecological study evaluated the relationship of socioeconomic conditions and public health policy with oral health conditions in Brazilian capitals. Factor analysis was performed with the socioeconomic indicators, revealing two common factors: economic deprivation and socio-sanitary condition. Then, was executed multiple linear regression analysis for the oral health indicators (average DMFT 12 years, mean missing teeth and rate of decay of free population) with two factors in common and fluoridation of water supply. Multiple linear regression analysis to the DMFT of the capitals was estimated by the socio-sanitary conditions and fluoridation, adjusted by economic deprivation; whereas the model for the average missing teeth was estimated only for flu-oridation and economic deprivation, and finally, the model for the rate of caries-free population in the Brazilian capitals was estimated by economic and sociosanitary condition set by fluoridated water supplies. Therefore, the results indicate the need for social actions that impact on people's living conditions to reduce tooth decay. PMID:26221819

  17. Response to "History of Place, Life Course and Health Inequalities"

    EPA Science Inventory

    I would like to thank Jamie Pearce for his warm commentary on our paper . Pearce points out the challenges posed by cross-sectional data on the geography of health-related resources. An additional consideration is the potential benefit to cons...

  18. [The nurse answers for health in social inequalities: the development of the nursing critical paradigm.].

    PubMed

    Rocco, Gennaro; Stievano, Alessandro

    2007-01-01

    Until the early Eighties, critical social theory as a philosophical orientation informing nursing science, theory development and practice did not exist. Interest on this topic began to arise only after the mid-Eighties. In fact, nursing scholars questioned the validity of empiricism as the historical foundation for nursing science and the limitations of interpretivism in strengthening nursing knowledge, and thus started to focus on the lack of epistemological perspectives in nursing, giving particular prominence to the peculiar social, political, historical and economic conditions involving those who needed nursing care. The theoretical reflection began to develop, like the empirical paradigm, the post-positivist paradigm and, later, the interpretative paradigm, expanded thanks to the early works by Martha Rogers and Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, were seen as unable to address issues related to power inequities, structural constraints and oppression suffered by vulnerable groups such as the homeless, mental health individuals, people affected by HIV+ and other infectious diseases, unemployed, etc.. Empiricism and interpretative paradigms did not manage to bridge the gap between theory and praxis, and a new theoretical and philosophical approach gradually gained ground. This paradigm, based on critical social theory, was developed by distinguished scholars and intellectuals, such as Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School in the Thirties, and, in recent years, by Giddens, Bourdieu, Foucault, Habermas. On this social field the first works of Allen, Thompson, Stevens, Campbell and Bunting, Kendall, allowed to work out a new paradigmatic nursing approach that would have predicted the employment of the critical theory for particular nursing aspects, as a conceptual framework for nursing education, as a paradigm to carry out participatory action-research and for the development of the discipline. The purpose of this article was to describe this

  19. Two decades of Neo-Marxist class analysis and health inequalities: A critical reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Muntaner, Carles; Ng, Edwin; Chung, Haejoo; Prins, Seth J

    2015-01-01

    Most population health researchers conceptualize social class as a set of attributes and material conditions of life of individuals. The empiricist tradition of ‘class as an individual attribute' equates class to an ‘observation', precluding the investigation of unobservable social mechanisms. Another consequence of this view of social class is that it cannot be conceptualized, measured, or intervened upon at the meso- or macro levels, being reduced to a personal attribute. Thus, population health disciplines marginalize rich traditions in Marxist theory whereby ‘class' is understood as a ‘hidden' social mechanism such as exploitation. Yet Neo-Marxist social class has been used over the last two decades in population health research as a way of understanding how health inequalities are produced. The Neo-Marxist approach views social class in terms of class relations that give persons control over productive assets and the labour power of others (property and managerial relations). We critically appraise the contribution of the Neo-Marxist approach during the last two decades and suggest realist amendments to understand class effects on the social determinants of health and health outcomes. We argue that when social class is viewed as a social causal mechanism it can inform social change to reduce health inequalities. PMID:26345311

  20. Is wealthier always healthier? The impact of national income level, inequality, and poverty on public health in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Biggs, Brian; King, Lawrence; Basu, Sanjay; Stuckler, David

    2010-07-01

    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

  1. Health inequalities in Germany: do regional-level variables explain differentials in cardiovascular risk?

    PubMed Central

    Breckenkamp, Juergen; Mielck, Andreas; Razum, Oliver

    2007-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic status is a predictor not only of mortality, but also of cardiovascular risk and morbidity. An ongoing debate in the field of social inequalities and health focuses on two questions: 1) Is individual health status associated with individual income as well as with income inequality at the aggregate (e. g. regional) level? 2) If there is such an association, does it operate via a psychosocial pathway (e.g. stress) or via a "neo-materialistic" pathway (e.g. systematic under-investment in societal infrastructures)? For the first time in Germany, we here investigate the association between cardiovascular health status and income inequality at the area level, controlling for individual socio-economic status. Methods Individual-level explanatory variables (age, socio-economic status) and outcome data (body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol level) as well as the regional-level variable (proportion of relative poverty) were taken from the baseline survey of the German Cardiovascular Prevention Study, a cross-sectional, community-based, multi-center intervention study, comprising six socio-economically diverse intervention regions, each with about 1800 participants aged 25–69 years. Multilevel modeling was used to examine the effects of individual and regional level variables. Results Regional effects are small compared to individual effects for all risk factors analyzed. Most of the total variance is explained at the individual level. Only for diastolic blood pressure in men and for cholesterol in both men and women is a statistically significant effect visible at the regional level. Conclusion Our analysis does not support the assumption that in Germany cardiovascular risk factors were to a large extent associated with income inequality at regional level. PMID:17603918

  2. A Student-Led Health Education Initiative Addressing Health Disparities in a Chinatown Community

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Benjamin J.; So, Chunkit; Chiu, Brandon G.; Polisetty, Radhika; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Liu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Together with community advocates, professional student organizations can help improve access to health care and sustain services to address the health disparities of a community in need. This paper examines the health concerns of an underserved Chinese community and introduces a student-led health education initiative that fosters service learning and student leadership. The initiative was recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and received the 2012-2013 Student Community Engaged Service Award. PMID:26839422

  3. A Student-Led Health Education Initiative Addressing Health Disparities in a Chinatown Community.

    PubMed

    Lee, Benjamin J; Wang, Sheila K; So, Chunkit; Chiu, Brandon G; Wang, Wesley Y; Polisetty, Radhika; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Liu, Hong

    2015-11-25

    Together with community advocates, professional student organizations can help improve access to health care and sustain services to address the health disparities of a community in need. This paper examines the health concerns of an underserved Chinese community and introduces a student-led health education initiative that fosters service learning and student leadership. The initiative was recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and received the 2012-2013 Student Community Engaged Service Award. PMID:26839422

  4. Inequalities in health: the value of sex-related indicators.

    PubMed Central

    Benigni, Romualdo

    2003-01-01

    My laboratory has previously shown that the sex differences in tumor incidence in Europe can be related to the female social condition and that the pattern of this relationship varies according to the different historical contexts. In this article, I have extended the study worldwide to all cancer registries, and I present the sex differences in life expectancy at birth. A close link between the health of the populations and socioeconomic and cultural factors was confirmed. The sex-related indicators had a distribution independent from the parent variables cancer incidence and life expectancy; thus, they carry complementary information and provide an additional, sensitive probe for monitoring the health of the populations. PMID:12676593

  5. Evidence for Health I: Producing evidence for improving health and reducing inequities.

    PubMed

    Andermann, Anne; Pang, Tikki; Newton, John N; Davis, Adrian; Panisset, Ulysses

    2016-01-01

    In an ideal world, researchers and decision-makers would be involved from the outset in co-producing evidence, with local health needs assessments informing the research agenda and research evidence informing the actions taken to improve health. The first step in improving the health of individuals and populations is therefore gaining a better understanding of what the main health problems are, and of these, which are the most urgent priorities by using both quantitative data to develop a health portrait and qualitative data to better understand why the local population thinks that addressing certain health challenges should be prioritized in their context. Understanding the causes of these health problems often involves analytical research, such as case-control and cohort studies, or qualitative studies to better understand how more complex exposures lead to specific health problems (e.g. by interviewing local teenagers discovering that watching teachers smoke in the school yard, peer pressure, and media influence smoking initiation among youth). Such research helps to develop a logic model to better map out the proximal and distal causes of poor health and to determine potential pathways for intervening and impacting health outcomes. Rarely is there a single 'cure' or stand-alone intervention, but rather, a continuum of strategies are needed from diagnosis and treatment of patients already affected, to disease prevention, health promotion and addressing the upstream social determinants of health. Research for developing and testing more upstream interventions must often go beyond randomized controlled trials, which are expensive, less amenable to more complex interventions, and can be associated with certain ethical challenges. Indeed, a much neglected area of the research cycle is implementation and evaluation research, which often involves quasi-experimental research study designs as well as qualitative research, to better understand how to derive the greatest

  6. Considering daily mobility for a more comprehensive understanding of contextual effects on social inequalities in health: a conceptual proposal.

    PubMed

    Shareck, Martine; Frohlich, Katherine L; Kestens, Yan

    2014-09-01

    Despite growing interest in integrating people׳s daily mobility into contextual studies of social inequalities in health, the links between daily mobility and health inequalities remain inadequately conceptualised. This conceptual proposal anchors the relationship between daily mobility and contextual influences on social inequalities in health into the concept of mobility potential, which encompasses the opportunities and places individuals can choose (or are constrained) to access. Mobility potential is realized as actual mobility through agency. Being shaped by socially-patterned personal and geographic characteristics, mobility potential is unequally distributed across social groups. Social inequalities in realized mobility may thus result. We discuss pathways by which these may contribute to contextual influences on social inequalities in health. One pathway is reflected in disadvantaged groups encountering more fast-food outlets during their daily activities, which may relate to their higher risk of unhealthy eating. This proposal lays the bases for empirical research explicitly testing hypotheses regarding the contribution of daily mobility to social inequalities in health. PMID:25103785

  7. Envisioning an America Without Sexual Orientation Inequities in Adolescent Health

    PubMed Central

    Birkett, Michelle; Greene, George J.; Hatzenbuehler, Mark L.; Newcomb, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. National Institutes of Health addresses the science of diversity

    PubMed Central

    Valantine, Hannah A.; Collins, Francis S.

    2015-01-01

    The US biomedical research workforce does not currently mirror the nation’s population demographically, despite numerous attempts to increase diversity. This imbalance is limiting the promise of our biomedical enterprise for building knowledge and improving the nation’s health. Beyond ensuring fairness in scientific workforce representation, recruiting and retaining a diverse set of minds and approaches is vital to harnessing the complete intellectual capital of the nation. The complexity inherent in diversifying the research workforce underscores the need for a rigorous scientific approach, consistent with the ways we address the challenges of science discovery and translation to human health. Herein, we identify four cross-cutting diversity challenges ripe for scientific exploration and opportunity: research evidence for diversity’s impact on the quality and outputs of science; evidence-based approaches to recruitment and training; individual and institutional barriers to workforce diversity; and a national strategy for eliminating barriers to career transition, with scientifically based approaches for scaling and dissemination. Evidence-based data for each of these challenges should provide an integrated, stepwise approach to programs that enhance diversity rapidly within the biomedical research workforce. PMID:26392553

  9. National Institutes of Health addresses the science of diversity.

    PubMed

    Valantine, Hannah A; Collins, Francis S

    2015-10-01

    The US biomedical research workforce does not currently mirror the nation's population demographically, despite numerous attempts to increase diversity. This imbalance is limiting the promise of our biomedical enterprise for building knowledge and improving the nation's health. Beyond ensuring fairness in scientific workforce representation, recruiting and retaining a diverse set of minds and approaches is vital to harnessing the complete intellectual capital of the nation. The complexity inherent in diversifying the research workforce underscores the need for a rigorous scientific approach, consistent with the ways we address the challenges of science discovery and translation to human health. Herein, we identify four cross-cutting diversity challenges ripe for scientific exploration and opportunity: research evidence for diversity's impact on the quality and outputs of science; evidence-based approaches to recruitment and training; individual and institutional barriers to workforce diversity; and a national strategy for eliminating barriers to career transition, with scientifically based approaches for scaling and dissemination. Evidence-based data for each of these challenges should provide an integrated, stepwise approach to programs that enhance diversity rapidly within the biomedical research workforce. PMID:26392553

  10. Urban health inequities and the added pressure of climate change: an action-oriented research agenda.

    PubMed

    Friel, Sharon; Hancock, Trevor; Kjellstrom, Tord; McGranahan, Gordon; Monge, Patricia; Roy, Joyashree

    2011-10-01

    Climate change will likely exacerbate already existing urban social inequities and health risks, thereby exacerbating existing urban health inequities. Cities in low- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable. Urbanization is both a cause of and potential solution to global climate change. Most population growth in the foreseeable future will occur in urban areas primarily in developing countries. How this growth is managed has enormous implications for climate change given the increasing concentration and magnitude of economic production in urban localities, as well as the higher consumption practices of urbanites, especially the middle classes, compared to rural populations. There is still much to learn about the extent to which climate change affects urban health equity and what can be done effectively in different socio-political and socio-economic contexts to improve the health of urban dwelling humans and the environment. But it is clear that equity-oriented climate change adaptation means attention to the social conditions in which urban populations live-this is not just a climate change policy issue, it requires inter-sectoral action. Policies and programs in urban planning and design, workplace health and safety, and urban agriculture can help mitigate further climate change and adapt to existing climate change. If done well, these will also be good for urban health equity. PMID:21861210

  11. Health status of the Italian people: gender inequalities. Commentary.

    PubMed

    Sabetta, Tiziana; Ricciardi, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Differences between male and female affect diseases onset, evolution and prognosis. In terms of survival, women have a higher life expectancy at birth than men, with strong differences at regional level (the highest values in Trento AP and the lowest in Campania). Smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity and physical activities indicators are analyzed among men and woman. A reduction in smokers and number of smoked cigarettes is observed, especially among men. Men also show a higher number of ex-smokers than woman. Also for alcohol consumption, the prevalence of consumers at risk is higher among men than women. Overweight and obesity are more prevalent among men than women, the same as physical activity played continuously and occasionally. Gender differences are also shown in hospitalization rate and mortality rate for ischemic heart disease, affecting men twice more than women. The analysis shows a good health status condition of Italian people, but it is important to be aware that gender is one of essential characteristics in health care field, independently of people age. PMID:27364387

  12. Widening health inequalities among U.S. military retirees since 1974.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Ryan

    2008-12-01

    I explore trends in mortality among U.S. military retirees using a new dataset of payroll records that include pay grade. Trends in mortality by pay grade reveal that health inequalities steadily widened between 1974 and 2004. Additive differentials in mortality rates remained stable, but since mortality declined exponentially, by a factor of about one third, proportional differentials in mortality and thus additive differentials in life expectancy have widened. The advantage in life expectancy enjoyed by retired officers grew roughly from 3 to 4 years. The sources of these trends remain unclear and are beyond the ability of the data to inform, but the results bear implications for trends in inequality and for policy. PMID:18708275

  13. Addressing gaps in health care sector legal preparedness for public health emergencies.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Montrece McNeill; Goodman, Richard A; Moulton, Anthony D

    2008-03-01

    Health care providers and their legal counsel play pivotal roles in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. Lawyers representing hospitals, health systems, and other health care provider components are being called upon to answer complex legal questions regarding public health preparedness issues that most providers have not previously faced. Many of these issues are legal issues with which public health officials should be familiar, and that can serve as a starting point for cross-sector legal preparedness planning involving both the public health and health care communities. This article examines legal issues that health care providers face in preparing for public health emergencies, and steps that providers, their legal counsel, and others can take to address those issues and to strengthen community preparedness. PMID:18388658

  14. Health literacy: applying current concepts to improve health services and reduce health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Batterham, R W; Hawkins, M; Collins, P A; Buchbinder, R; Osborne, R H

    2016-03-01

    The concept of 'health literacy' refers to the personal and relational factors that affect a person's ability to acquire, understand and use information about health and health services. For many years, efforts in the development of the concept of health literacy exceeded the development of measurement tools and interventions. Furthermore, the discourse about and development of health literacy in public health and in clinical settings were often substantially different. This paper provides an update about recently developed approaches to measurement that assess health literacy strengths and limitations of individuals and of groups across multiple aspects of health literacy. This advancement in measurement now allows diagnostic and problem-solving approaches to developing responses to identified strengths and limitations. In this paper, we consider how such an approach can be applied across the diverse range of settings in which health literacy has been applied. In particular, we consider some approaches to applying health literacy in the daily practice of health-service providers in many settings, and how new insights and tools--including approaches based on an understanding of diversity of health literacy needs in a target community--can contribute to improvements in practice. Finally, we present a model that attempts to integrate the concept of health literacy with concepts that are often considered to overlap with it. With careful consideration of the distinctions between prevailing concepts, health literacy can be used to complement many fields from individual patient care to community-level development, and from improving compliance to empowering individuals and communities. PMID:26872738

  15. Tackling inequalities in obesity: a protocol for a systematic review of the effectiveness of public health interventions at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among adults

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic inequalities in obesity and associated risk factors for obesity are widening throughout developed countries worldwide. Tackling obesity is high on the public health agenda both in the United Kingdom and internationally. However, what works in terms of interventions that are able to reduce inequalities in obesity is lacking. Methods/Design The review will examine public health interventions at the individual, community and societal level that might reduce inequalities in obesity among adults aged 18 years and over, in any setting and in any country. The following electronic databases will be searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, ASSIA, IBSS, Sociological Abstracts, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database. Database searches will be supplemented with website and gray literature searches. No studies will be excluded based on language, country or publication date. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies (with/without control groups) and prospective repeat cross-sectional studies (with/without control groups) that have a primary outcome that is a proxy for body fatness and have examined differential effects with regard to socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation, social class, deprivation, poverty) or where the intervention has been targeted specifically at disadvantaged groups or deprived areas will be included. Study inclusion, data extraction and quality appraisal will be conducted by two reviewers. Meta-analysis and narrative synthesis will be conducted. The main analysis will examine the effects of 1) individual, 2) community and 3) societal level public health interventions on socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity. Interventions will be characterized by their level of action and their approach to tackling inequalities. Contextual information on how such public health interventions are organized, implemented and delivered will also

  16. Existing health inequalities in India: informing preparedness planning for an influenza pandemic

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Supriya; Quinn, Sandra C

    2012-01-01

    On 11 June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the world was in phase 6 of an influenza pandemic. In India, the first case of 2009 H1N1 influenza was reported on 16 May 2009 and by August 2010 (when the pandemic was declared over), 38 730 cases of 2009 H1N1 had been confirmed of which there were 2024 deaths. Here, we propose a conceptual model of the sources of health disparities in an influenza pandemic in India. Guided by a published model of the plausible sources of such disparities in the United States, we reviewed the literature for the determinants of the plausible sources of health disparities during a pandemic in India. We find that factors at multiple social levels could determine inequalities in the risk of exposure and susceptibility to influenza, as well as access to treatment once infected: (1) religion, caste and indigenous identity, as well as education and gender at the individual level; (2) wealth at the household level; and (3) the type of location, ratio of health care practitioners to population served, access to transportation and public spending on health care in the geographic area of residence. Such inequalities could lead to unequal levels of disease and death. Whereas causal factors can only be determined by testing the model when incidence and mortality data, collected in conjunction with socio-economic and geographic factors, become available, we put forth recommendations that policy makers can undertake to ensure that the pandemic preparedness plan includes a focus on social inequalities in India in order to prevent their exacerbation in a pandemic. PMID:22131367

  17. Hispanic Women's Expectations of Campus-Based Health Clinics Addressing Sexual Health Concerns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Dionne P.; Thomas, Tami L.

    2011-01-01

    Although the number of Hispanic women attending postsecondary institutions has significantly increased in the past decade, knowledge about their use of campus health services to address sexuality-related issues remains low. Increased information about this population is crucial given that sexual health indicators have shown Hispanic women in…

  18. Do State Mental Health Plans Address the New Freedom Commission's Goals for Children's Mental Health?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gould, Sara R.; Roberts, Michael C.; Beals, Sarah E.

    2009-01-01

    The latest initiative to address mental health needs of the nation, including those of children and youth, is the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC). The NFC formulated a benchmark of six goals and related recommendations toward which the U.S. should strive, including the recommendation that each state develop a…

  19. Reducing disease burden and health inequalities arising from chronic disease among Indigenous children: an early childhood caries intervention

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22551058

  20. A small-area index of socioeconomic deprivation to capture health inequalities in France.

    PubMed

    Havard, Sabrina; Deguen, Séverine; Bodin, Julie; Louis, Karine; Laurent, Olivier; Bard, Denis

    2008-12-01

    In the absence of individual data, ecological or contextual measures of socioeconomic level are frequently used to describe social inequalities in health. This work focuses on the methodological aspects of the development and validation of a French small-area index of socioeconomic deprivation and its application to the evaluation of the socioeconomic differentials in health outcomes. This index was derived from a principal component analysis of 1999 national census data from the Strasbourg metropolitan area in eastern France, at the census block level. Composed of 19 variables that reflect the multiple aspects of socioeconomic status (income, employment, housing, family and household, and educational level), it can discriminate disadvantaged urban centres from more privileged rural and suburban areas. Several statistical tests (Cronbach's alpha coefficient, convergent validity tests with other deprivation indices from the literature) provided internal and external validation. Its successful application to another French metropolitan area (Lille, in northern France) confirmed its transposability. Finally, its capacity to capture the social inequalities in health when applied to myocardial infarction data shows its potential value. This study thus provides a new tool in French public health research for characterising neighbourhood deprivation and detecting socioeconomic disparities in the distribution of health outcomes at the small-area level. PMID:18950926

  1. Health Inequalities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Lower Healthy Life Expectancy in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Areas

    PubMed Central

    Corrêa da Mota, Jurema; Damacena, Giseli Nogueira; Sardinha Pereira, Tatiana Guimarães

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. We investigated deprivation and inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy by location in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Methods. We conducted a health survey of 576 adults in 2006. Census tracts were stratified by income level and categorization as a slum. We determined health status by degree of functional limitation, according to the approach proposed by the World Health Organization. We calculated healthy life expectancies by Sullivan's method with abridged life table. Results. We found the worst indicators in the slum stratum. The life expectancy at birth of men living in the richest parts of the city was 12.8 years longer than that of men living in deprived areas. For both men and women older than age 65 years, healthy life expectancy was more than twice as high in the richest sector as in the slum sector. Conclusions. Our analysis detailed the excess burden of poor health experienced by disadvantaged populations of Rio de Janeiro. Policy efforts are needed to reduce social inequalities in health in this city, especially among the elderly. PMID:21233437

  2. 75 FR 51831 - Request for Measures of Health Plan Efforts To Address Health Plan Members' Health Literacy Needs

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-23

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Request for Measures of Health Plan Efforts To Address Health Plan Members' Health Literacy Needs AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and...

  3. An ecofeminist conceptual framework to explore gendered environmental health inequities in urban settings and to inform healthy public policy.

    PubMed

    Chircop, Andrea

    2008-06-01

    This theoretical exploration is an attempt to conceptualize the link between gender and urban environmental health. The proposed ecofeminist framework enables an understanding of the link between the urban physical and social environments and health inequities mediated by gender and socioeconomic status. This framework is proposed as a theoretical magnifying glass to reveal the underlying logic that connects environmental exploitation on the one hand, and gendered health inequities on the other. Ecofeminism has the potential to reveal an inherent, normative conceptual analysis and argumentative justification of western society that permits the oppression of women and the exploitation of the environment. This insight will contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying gendered environmental health inequities and inform healthy public policy that is supportive of urban environmental health, particularly for low-income mothers. PMID:18476856

  4. Social change or business as usual at city hall? Examining an urban municipal government's response to neighbourhood-level health inequities.

    PubMed

    Cahuas, Madelaine C; Wakefield, Sarah; Peng, Yun

    2015-05-01

    There is a renewed interest in the potential of municipal governments working collaboratively with local communities to address health inequities. A growing body of literature has also highlighted the benefits and limitations of participatory approaches in neighbourhood interventions initiated by municipal governments. However, few studies have investigated how neighbourhood interventions tackling health inequities work in real-time and in context, from the perspectives of Community Developers (CDs) who promote community participation. This study uses a process evaluation approach and semi-structured interviews with CDs to explore the challenges they face in implementing a community development, participatory process in the City of Hamilton's strategy to reduce health inequities - Neighbourhood Action. Findings demonstrate that municipal government can facilitate and suppress community participation in complex ways. CDs serve as significant but conflicted intermediaries as they negotiate and navigate power differentials between city and community actors, while also facing structural challenges. We conclude that community participation is important to bottom-up, resident-led social change, and that CDs are central to this work. PMID:25245453

  5. Inequalities in health: living conditions and infant mortality in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Renata Alves da Silva; Santos, Victor Santana; de Melo, Cláudia Moura; Gurgel, Ricardo Queiroz; Oliveira, Cristiane Costa da Cunha

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To analyze the variation of infant mortality as per condition of life in the urban setting. METHODS Ecological study performed with data regarding registered deaths of children under the age of one who resided in Aracaju, SE, Northeastern Brazil, from 2001 to 2010. Infant mortality inequalities were assessed based on the spatial distribution of the Living Conditions Index for each neighborhood, classified into four strata. The average mortality rates of 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 were compared using the Student’s t-test. RESULTS Average infant mortality rates decreased from 25.3 during 2001-2005 to 17.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006-2010. Despite the decrease in the rates in all the strata during that decade, inequality of infant mortality risks increased in neighborhoods with worse living conditions compared with that in areas with better living conditions. CONCLUSIONS Infant mortality rates in Aracaju showed a decline, but with important differences among neighborhoods. The assessment based on a living condition perspective can explain the differences in the risks of infant mortality rates in urban areas, highlighting health inequalities in infant mortality as a multidimensional issue. PMID:25741650

  6. Using community-based participatory research to address Chinese older women’s health needs: Toward sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Chang, E-Shien; Simon, Melissa A.; Dong, XinQi

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Although community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been recognized as a useful approach for eliminating health disparities, less attention is given to how CBPR projects may address gender inequalities in health for immigrant older women. The goal of this article is to share culturally sensitive strategies and lessons learned from the PINE study—a population-based study of U.S. Chinese older adults that was strictly guided by the CBPR approach. Working with Chinese older women requires trust, respect, and understanding of their unique historical, social, and cultural positions. We also discuss implications for developing impact-driven research partnerships that meet the needs of this vulnerable population. PMID:27310870

  7. Rebalancing brain drain: exploring resource reallocation to address health worker migration and promote global health.

    PubMed

    Mackey, Timothy Ken; Liang, Bryan Albert

    2012-09-01

    Global public health is threatened by an imbalance in health worker migration from resource-poor countries to developed countries. This "brain drain" results in health workforce shortages, health system weakening, and economic loss and waste, threatening the well-being of vulnerable populations and effectiveness of global health interventions. Current structural imbalances in resource allocation and global incentive structures have resulted in 57 countries identified by WHO as having a "critical shortage" of health workers. Yet current efforts to strengthen domestic health systems have fallen short in addressing this issue. Instead, global solutions should focus on sustainable forms of equitable resource sharing. This can be accomplished by adoption of mandatory global resource and staff-sharing programs in conjunction with implementation of state-based health services corps. PMID:22572198

  8. Race, gender, class, and sexual orientation: intersecting axes of inequality and self-rated health in Canada

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Intersectionality theory, a way of understanding social inequalities by race, gender, class, and sexuality that emphasizes their mutually constitutive natures, possesses potential to uncover and explicate previously unknown health inequalities. In this paper, the intersectionality principles of "directionality," "simultaneity," "multiplicativity," and "multiple jeopardy" are applied to inequalities in self-rated health by race, gender, class, and sexual orientation in a Canadian sample. Methods The Canadian Community Health Survey 2.1 (N = 90,310) provided nationally representative data that enabled binary logistic regression modeling on fair/poor self-rated health in two analytical stages. The additive stage involved regressing self-rated health on race, gender, class, and sexual orientation singly and then as a set. The intersectional stage involved consideration of two-way and three-way interaction terms between the inequality variables added to the full additive model created in the previous stage. Results From an additive perspective, poor self-rated health outcomes were reported by respondents claiming Aboriginal, Asian, or South Asian affiliations, lower class respondents, and bisexual respondents. However, each axis of inequality interacted significantly with at least one other: multiple jeopardy pertained to poor homosexuals and to South Asian women who were at unexpectedly high risks of fair/poor self-rated health and mitigating effects were experienced by poor women and by poor Asian Canadians who were less likely than expected to report fair/poor health. Conclusions Although a variety of intersections between race, gender, class, and sexual orientation were associated with especially high risks of fair/poor self-rated health, they were not all consistent with the predictions of intersectionality theory. I conclude that an intersectionality theory well suited for explicating health inequalities in Canada should be capable of accommodating axis

  9. 50-year trends in US socioeconomic inequalities in health: US-born Black and White Americans, 1959–2008

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, Nancy; Kosheleva, Anna; Waterman, Pamela D; Chen, Jarvis T; Beckfield, Jason; Kiang, Mathew V

    2014-01-01

    Background: Debates exist over whether health inequities are bound to rise as population health improves, due to health improving more quickly among the better off, with most analyses focused on mortality data. Methods: We analysed 50 years of socioeconomic inequities in measured health status among US-born Black and White Americans, using data from the National Health Examination Surveys (NHES) I-III (1959–70), National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) I-III (1971–94) and NHANES 1999–2008. Results: Absolute US socioeconomic health inequities for income percentile and education variously decreased (serum cholesterol; childhood height), stagnated [systolic blood pressure (SBP)], widened [body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC)] and in some cases reversed (age at menarche), even as on-average values rose (BMI, WC), idled (childhood height) and fell (SBP, serum cholesterol, age at menarche), with patterns often varying by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic measure; similar results occurred for relative inequities. For example, for WC, the adverse 20th (low) vs 80th (high) income percentile gap increased only among Whites (NHES I: 0.71 cm [95% confidence interval (CI) −0.74, 2.16); NHANES 2005–08: 2.10 (95% CI 0.96, 3.62)]. By contrast, age at menarche for girls in the 20th vs 80th income percentile among Black girls remained consistently lower, by 0.34 years (95% CI 0.12, 0.55) whereas among White girls the initial null difference became inverse [NHANES 2005–08: −0.49 years (95% CI −0.86, −0.12; overall P = 0.0015)]. Adjusting for socioeconomic position only modestly altered Black/White health inequities. Conclusions: Health inequities need not rise as population health improves. PMID:24639440

  10. Child health inequities in developing countries: differences across urban and rural areas

    PubMed Central

    Fotso, Jean-Christophe

    2006-01-01

    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 between the poor and the non

  11. Inequality of Paediatric Workforce Distribution in China.

    PubMed

    Song, Peige; Ren, Zhenghong; Chang, Xinlei; Liu, Xuebei; An, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Child health has been addressed as a priority at both global and national levels for many decades. In China, difficulty of accessing paediatricians has been of debate for a long time, however, there is limited evidence to assess the population- and geography-related inequality of paediatric workforce distribution. This study aimed to analyse the inequality of the distributions of the paediatric workforce (including paediatricians and paediatric nurses) in China by using Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient, and Theil L index, data were obtained from the national maternal and child health human resource sampling survey conducted in 2010. In this study, we found that the paediatric workforce was the most inequitable regarding the distribution of children <7 years, the geographic distribution of the paediatric workforce highlighted very severe inequality across the nation, except the Central region. For different professional types, we found that, except the Central region, the level of inequality of paediatric nurses was higher than that of the paediatricians regarding both the demographic and geographic distributions. The inner-regional inequalities were the main sources of the paediatric workforce distribution inequality. To conclude, this study revealed the inadequate distribution of the paediatric workforce in China for the first time, substantial inequality of paediatric workforce distribution still existed across the nation in 2010, more research is still needed to explore the in-depth sources of inequality, especially the urban-rural variance and the inner- and inter-provincial differences, and to guide national and local health policy-making and resource allocation. PMID:27420083

  12. Inequality of Paediatric Workforce Distribution in China

    PubMed Central

    Song, Peige; Ren, Zhenghong; Chang, Xinlei; Liu, Xuebei; An, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Child health has been addressed as a priority at both global and national levels for many decades. In China, difficulty of accessing paediatricians has been of debate for a long time, however, there is limited evidence to assess the population- and geography-related inequality of paediatric workforce distribution. This study aimed to analyse the inequality of the distributions of the paediatric workforce (including paediatricians and paediatric nurses) in China by using Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient, and Theil L index, data were obtained from the national maternal and child health human resource sampling survey conducted in 2010. In this study, we found that the paediatric workforce was the most inequitable regarding the distribution of children <7 years, the geographic distribution of the paediatric workforce highlighted very severe inequality across the nation, except the Central region. For different professional types, we found that, except the Central region, the level of inequality of paediatric nurses was higher than that of the paediatricians regarding both the demographic and geographic distributions. The inner-regional inequalities were the main sources of the paediatric workforce distribution inequality. To conclude, this study revealed the inadequate distribution of the paediatric workforce in China for the first time, substantial inequality of paediatric workforce distribution still existed across the nation in 2010, more research is still needed to explore the in-depth sources of inequality, especially the urban-rural variance and the inner- and inter-provincial differences, and to guide national and local health policy-making and resource allocation. PMID:27420083

  13. Prevalence and correlates of local health department activities to address mental health in the United States.

    PubMed

    Purtle, Jonathan; Klassen, Ann C; Kolker, Jennifer; Buehler, James W

    2016-01-01

    Mental health has been recognized as a public health priority for nearly a century. Little is known, however, about what local health departments (LHDs) do to address the mental health needs of the populations they serve. Using data from the 2013 National Profile of Local Health Departments - a nationally representative survey of LHDs in the United States (N=505) - we characterized LHDs' engagement in eight mental health activities, factors associated with engagement, and estimated the proportion of the U.S. population residing in jurisdictions where these activities were performed. We used Handler's framework of the measurement of public health systems to select variables and examined associations between LHD characteristics and engagement in mental health activities using bivariate analyses and multilevel, multivariate logistic regression. Assessing gaps in access to mental healthcare services (39.3%) and implementing strategies to improve access to mental healthcare services (32.8%) were the most common mental health activities performed. LHDs that provided mental healthcare services were significantly more likely to perform population-based mental illness prevention activities (adjusted odds ratio: 7.1; 95% CI: 5.1, 10.0) and engage in policy/advocacy activities to address mental health (AOR: 3.9; 95% CI: 2.7, 5.6). Our study suggests that many LHDs are engaged in activities to address mental health, ranging from healthcare services to population-based interventions, and that LHDs that provide healthcare services are more likely than others to perform mental health activities. These findings have implications as LHDs reconsider their roles in the era of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and LHD accreditation. PMID:26582210

  14. Socioeconomic inequalities, health damaging behavior, and self-perceived health in Serbia: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Janković, Janko; Janević, Teresa; von dem Knesebeck, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    Aim To analyze the association of socioeconomic factors with self-perceived health in Serbia and examine whether this association can be partly explained by health behavior variables. Methods We used data from the 2007 Living Standards Measurement Study for Serbia. A representative sample of 13 831 persons aged ≥20 years was interviewed. The associations between demographic factors (age, sex, marital status, and type of settlement), socioeconomic factors (education, employment status, and household consumption tertiles), and health behavior variables (smoking, alcohol consumption) and self-perceived health were examined using logistic regression analyses. Results A stepwise gradient was found between education and self-perceived health for the total sample, men, and women. Compared to people with high education, people with low education had a 4.5 times higher chance of assessing their health as poor. Unemployed (odds ratio [OR], 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-2.10), inactive (OR, 2.82; 95% CI, 2.49-3.19), and the most deprived respondents (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.02-1.34) were more likely to report poor self-perceived health than employed persons and the most affluent group. After adjustment for demographic and health behavior variables, the magnitudes of all associations decreased but remained clearly and significantly graded. Conclusions This study revealed inequalities in self-perceived health by socioeconomic position, in particular educational and employment status. The reduction of such inequalities through wisely tailored interventions that benefit people’s health should be a target of a national health policy in Serbia. PMID:22661139

  15. Shining India?: Assessing and addressing the risks from an unsustainable trajectory of climate, water, food, energy and income inequity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lall, U.

    2012-12-01

    Climate and demographics are primary drivers of regional resource sustainability. In today's global economy, increasing trade has provided a mechanism to alleviate regional stresses. However, increasing regional income promotes consumption, aggravating regional and global resource pressures. South Asia, has the highest population density at a sub-continent scale. Given its monsoonal climate, and high intensity of agriculture it faces perhaps the most severe population weighted water stress in the world. Rapidly declining groundwater tables and the associated high energy use for pumping for irrigated agriculture translate into unsustainable energy imports and expenditure that contributed to the two largest blackouts in global history in summer 2012. Access to water has been progressively declining for both rural and urban populations for the last 3 decades. The increasing energy imports and poor grid reliability translate into limits to the growth of manufacturing and exports of goods and services. The growing income inequity within the population and across national borders, and the impacts of floods and droughts on access to water, food and energy collectively suggest a very high risk for social unrest and a conflict flashpoint. I present a scenario analysis that establishes this case for the emergence of internal and external strife in the region as an outcome of the current resource and natural disaster management policies in the region. Prospects for strategic policy changes for water and energy management and the design of a food procurement and distribution system that could lead to a better future are discussed.

  16. "From your own thinking you can't help us": intercultural collaboration to address inequities in services for Indigenous Australians in response to the World Report on Disability.

    PubMed

    Lowell, Anne

    2013-02-01

    Inequity in service provision for Indigenous Australians with communication disability is an issue requiring urgent attention. In the lead article, Wylie, McAllister, Davidson, and Marshall (2013) note that, even in the relatively affluent Minority World, including Australia, equity in service provision for people with communication disability has not been achieved. In remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT) almost all residents speak a language other than English as their primary language. However, there are no speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the NT who speak an Indigenous language or who share their cultural background. Specific data on the prevalence of communication disability in this population are unavailable due to a range of factors. The disability data that are available, for example, demonstrating the high level of conductive hearing loss, indicates that the risk of communication disability in this population is particularly high. Change is urgently needed to address current inequities in both availability of, and access to, culturally responsive services for Indigenous people with communication disability. Such change must engage Indigenous people in a collaborative process that recognizes their expertise in identifying both their needs and the most effective form of response to these needs. PMID:23072499

  17. Health inequalities by wage income in Sweden: the role of work environment.

    PubMed

    Hemström, Orjan

    2005-08-01

    The main aim of this study was to explore the mediating role made by work environment to health inequalities by wage income in Sweden. Gender differences were also analysed. Data from the Swedish Survey of Living Conditions for the years 1998 and 1999 were analysed. Employed 20-64-year olds with a registered wage were included (nearly 6000 respondents). Sex-specific logistic regressions in relation to global self-rated health were applied. Those in the lowest income quintile had 2.4 times (men) and 4.3 times (women) higher probability of less than good health than did those in the highest quintile (adjusted for age, family status, country of birth, education level, smoking and full-time work). The mediating contribution of work environment factors to the health gradient by income was 25 per cent (men) and 29 per cent (women), respectively. This contribution was observed mainly from ergonomic and physical exposure, decision authority and skill discretion. Psychological demands did not contribute to such inequalities because mentally demanding work tasks are more common in high income as compared with low income jobs. Using sex-specific income quintiles, instead of income quintiles for the entire sample, gave very similar results. In conclusion, work environment factors can be seen as important mediators for the association between wage income and ill health in Sweden. A larger residual effect of income on health for women as compared with men suggests that one's own income from work is a more important determinant of women's than men's ill health in Sweden. PMID:15899322

  18. Age and socioeconomic inequalities in health: examining the role of lifestyle choices.

    PubMed

    Ovrum, Arnstein; Gustavsen, Geir Wæhler; Rickertsen, Kyrre

    2014-03-01

    The role of lifestyle choices in explaining how socioeconomic inequalities in health vary with age has received little attention. This study explores how the income and education gradients in both important lifestyle choices and self-assessed health (SAH) vary with age. Repeated cross-sectional data from Norway (n=25,016) and logistic regression models are used to track the income and education gradients in physical activity, smoking, consumption of fruit and vegetables and SAH over the age range 25-79 years. The education gradient in smoking, the income gradient in consumption of fruit and vegetables and the education gradient in physical activity among males become smaller at older ages. Physical activity among females is the only lifestyle indicator in which the income and education gradients grow stronger at older ages. In conclusion, this study shows that income and education gradients in lifestyle choices may not remain constant, but vary with age, and such variation could be important in explaining corresponding age patterns of inequality in health. PMID:24796874

  19. Methods for the study of employment relations and health inequalities in a global context.

    PubMed

    Benach, Joan; Castedo, Antía; Solar, Orielle; Martínez, José Miguel; Vergara, Montserrat; Amable, Marcelo; Buxó, Maria; Demiral, Yucel; Muntaner, Carles

    2010-01-01

    The authors describe the major methods and sources of information used in the EMCONET study for researching global, employment-related health inequalities. A systematic review of the literature provides valuable knowledge for research in this area. However, the limited number of studies, the poor quality of methods used, and a lack of theories or concepts have produced inconsistent results. To minimize bias from these limitations and to reach a comprehensive understanding of the complexity and health effects of global employment conditions, this article outlines key strategies for a synthetic, comprehensive, participatory approach: adapting transdisciplinary knowledge acquisition, building a theoretical model, employing multiple sources for data collection, and using a variety of methods (qualitative/ quantitative studies and narrative knowledge). This approach provides solutions to important research and policy needs regarding the global context of key employment relations, social mechanisms, and health inequalities. The strategies are adapted to synthesize input from several disciplines (epidemiology, sociology, and political science), social actors, and institutions. The study's main sources of information are a variety of digital, bibliographic databases; the authors reviewed the scientific literature from 1985 to 2008 and books, reports, and other documents from 2000 to 2008. PMID:20440965

  20. The ideal of equal health revisited: definitions and measures of inequity in health should be better integrated with theories of distributive justice.

    PubMed

    Norheim, Ole Frithjof; Asada, Yukiko

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19922612

  1. The ideal of equal health revisited: definitions and measures of inequity in health should be better integrated with theories of distributive justice

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19922612

  2. Preventing socioeconomic inequalities in health behaviour in adolescents in Europe: Background, design and methods of project TEENAGE

    PubMed Central

    van Lenthe, Frank J; de Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Klepp, Knut-Inge; Lien, Nanna; Moore, Laurence; Faggiano, Fabrizio; Kunst, Anton E; Mackenbach, Johan P

    2009-01-01

    Background Higher prevalence rates of unhealthy behaviours among lower socioeconomic groups contribute substantially to socioeconomic inequalities in health in adults. Preventing the development of these inequalities in unhealthy behaviours early in life is an important strategy to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in health. Little is known however, about health promotion strategies particularly effective in lower socioeconomic groups in youth. It is the purpose of project TEENAGE to improve knowledge on the prevention of socioeconomic inequalities in physical activity, diet, smoking and alcohol consumption among adolescents in Europe. This paper describes the background, design and methods to be used in the project. Methods/design Through a systematic literature search, existing interventions aimed at promoting physical activity, a healthy diet, preventing the uptake of smoking or alcohol, and evaluated in the general adolescent population in Europe will be identified. Studies in which indicators of socioeconomic position are included will be reanalysed by socioeconomic position. Results of such stratified analyses will be summarised by type of behaviour, across behaviours by type of intervention (health education, environmental interventions and policies) and by setting (individual, household, school, and neighbourhood). In addition, the degree to which effective interventions can be transferred to other European countries will be assessed. Discussion Although it is sometimes assumed that some health promotion strategies may be particularly effective in higher socioeconomic groups, thereby increasing socioeconomic inequalities in health-related behaviour, there is little knowledge about differential effects of health promotion across socioeconomic groups. Synthesizing stratified analyses of a number of interventions conducted in the general adolescent population may offer an efficient guidance for the development of strategies and interventions to prevent

  3. Achieving universal health coverage in France: policy reforms and the challenge of inequalities.

    PubMed

    Nay, Olivier; Béjean, Sophie; Benamouzig, Daniel; Bergeron, Henri; Castel, Patrick; Ventelou, Bruno

    2016-05-28

    Since 1945, the provision of health care in France has been grounded in a social conception promoting universalism and equality. The French health-care system is based on compulsory social insurance funded by social contributions, co-administered by workers' and employers' organisations under State control and driven by highly redistributive financial transfers. This system is described frequently as the French model. In this paper, the first in The Lancet's Series on France, we challenge conventional wisdom about health care in France. First, we focus on policy and institutional transformations that have affected deeply the governance of health care over past decades. We argue that the health system rests on a diversity of institutions, policy mechanisms, and health actors, while its governance has been marked by the reinforcement of national regulation under the aegis of the State. Second, we suggest the redistributive mechanisms of the health insurance system are impeded by social inequalities in health, which remain major hindrances to achieving objectives of justice and solidarity associated with the conception of health care in France. PMID:27145707

  4. Health inequality in adolescence. Does stratification occur by familial social background, family affluence, or personal social position?

    PubMed Central

    LK, Koivusilta; AH, Rimpelä; SM, Kautiainen

    2006-01-01

    Background Two new sets of stratification indicators – family's material affluence and adolescent's personal social position- were compared with traditional indicators of familial social position based on parental occupation and education for their ability to detect health inequality among adolescents. Methods Survey data were collected in the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey in 2003 from nationally representative samples of 12-, 14- and 16-year-old Finns (number of respondents 5394, response rate 71%). Indicators of the familial social position were father's socio-economic status, parents' education, parents' labour market position. Indicators of material affluence were number of cars, vacation travels, and computers in the family, own room and amount of weekly spending money. Adolescent's personal social position was measured as school performance. Measures of health were long-standing illness, overweight, use of mental health services, poor self-rated health and number of weekly health complaints. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was applied to study the associations between stratification indicators and health variables. Results All three groups of indicators of social stratification showed inequality in health, but the strongest associations were observed with the adolescent's personal social position. Health inequality was only partly identifiable by the traditional indicators of familial social position. The direction of the inequality was as expected when using the traditional indicators or personal social position: adolescents from higher social positions were healthier than those from lower positions. The indicators of family's material affluence showed mainly weak or no association with health and some of the indicators were inversely associated, although weakly. Conclusion In addition to traditional indicators describing the socio-structural influences on the distribution of health among adolescents, indicators of family's material affluence

  5. Aversion to health inequalities in healthcare prioritisation: a multicriteria optimisation perspective.

    PubMed

    Morton, Alec

    2014-07-01

    In this paper we discuss the prioritisation of healthcare projects where there is a concern about health inequalities, but the decision maker is reluctant to make explicit quantitative value judgements and the data systems only allow the measurement of health at an aggregate level. Our analysis begins with a standard welfare economic model of healthcare resource allocation. We show how - under the assumption that the healthcare projects under consideration have a small impact on individual health--the problem can be reformulated as one of finding a particular subset of the class of efficient solutions to an implied multicriteria optimisation problem. Algorithms for finding such solutions are readily available, and we demonstrate our approach through a worked example of treatment for clinical depression. PMID:24831800

  6. [Social inequality and health: Status and prospects of socio-epidemiological research in Germany].

    PubMed

    Lampert, Thomas; Richter, Matthias; Schneider, Sven; Spallek, Jacob; Dragano, Nico

    2016-02-01

    Social differences in morbidity and mortality have always been a central topic in public health research. In recent years, there has been a growing research interest that has clearly resonated with the general public and the political arena as well. This article describes the development and establishment of social epidemiology in Germany and presents the current status of research. In addition, it describes different models for explaining health inequalities. On this basis, selected challenges and prospects of socio-epidemiological research are demonstrated. The reason why the analysis of social differences in morbidity and mortality will continue to be a key task of public health research in the national and international context in the future is also explained. PMID:26631008

  7. Understanding the role of welfare state characteristics for health and inequalities – an analytical review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The past decade has witnessed a growing body of research on welfare state characteristics and health inequalities but the picture is, despite this, inconsistent. We aim to review this research by focusing on theoretical and methodological differences between studies that at least in part may lead to these mixed findings. Methods Three reviews and relevant bibliographies were manually explored in order to find studies for the review. Related articles were searched for in PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar. Database searches were done in PubMed and Web of Science. The search period was restricted to 2005-01-01 to 2013-02-28. Fifty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Results Three main approaches to comparative welfare state research are identified; the Regime approach, the Institutional approach, and the Expenditure approach. The Regime approach is the most common and regardless of the empirical regime theory employed and the amendments made to these, results are diverse and contradictory. When stratifying studies according to other features, not much added clarity is achieved. The Institutional approach shows more consistent results; generous policies and benefits seem to be associated with health in a positive way for all people in a population, not only those who are directly affected or targeted. The Expenditure approach finds that social and health spending is associated with increased levels of health and smaller health inequalities in one way or another but the studies are few in numbers making it somewhat difficult to get coherent results. Conclusions Based on earlier reviews and our results we suggest that future research should focus less on welfare regimes and health inequalities and more on a multitude of different types of studies, including larger analyses of social spending and social rights in various policy areas and how these are linked to health in different social strata. But, we also need more detailed evaluation of

  8. Inequities in health care utilization by people aged 50+: evidence from 12 European countries.

    PubMed

    Terraneo, Marco

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the magnitude of educational inequities in the use of health care services, by people aged 50+, in 12 European countries, controlling for country-level heterogeneity. We consider four services: having seen or talked to 1) a general practitioner (GP) or 2) specialist, 3) having been hospitalized, and 4) having visited a dentist (only for prevention). Data derived from the SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) project, a cross-national panel that collects information from individuals aged 50 and over. A Fixed Effects approach is applied, which is a valuable alternative to the application of conventional multilevel models in country-comparative analysis. The main findings of this study confirm that there is substantial educational inequity in the use of health care, although relevant differences arise between services. A clear pro-educated gradient is found for specialists and dentist visits, whereas no evidence of educational disparities was found for GP use. On the other hand, less clear results emerge regarding hospitalizations. However, the analysis shows that micro-level dimensions, i.e. individual needs and predisposing and enabling population characteristics, and macro level factors, i.e. health care system and welfare regime, interact to determine people's use of health services. It can be concluded that people with more education level have more resources (cognitive, communicative, relational) that allow them to make more informed choices and take more effective actions for their health goals, however, the institutional context may modify this relationship. PMID:25562311

  9. Recent advances to address European Union Health Security from cross border chemical health threats.

    PubMed

    Duarte-Davidson, R; Orford, R; Wyke, S; Griffiths, M; Amlôt, R; Chilcott, R

    2014-11-01

    The European Union (EU) Decision (1082/2013/EU) on serious cross border threats to health was adopted by the European Parliament in November 2013, in recognition of the need to strengthen the capacity of Member States to coordinate the public health response to cross border threats, whether from biological, chemical, environmental events or events which have an unknown origin. Although mechanisms have been in place for years for reporting cross border health threats from communicable diseases, this has not been the case for incidents involving chemicals and/or environmental events. A variety of collaborative EU projects have been funded over the past 10 years through the Health Programme to address gaps in knowledge on health security and to improve resilience and response to major incidents involving chemicals. This paper looks at the EU Health Programme that underpins recent research activities to address gaps in resilience, planning, responding to and recovering from a cross border chemical incident. It also looks at how the outputs from the research programme will contribute to improving public health management of transnational incidents that have the potential to overwhelm national capabilities, putting this into context with the new requirements as the Decision on serious cross border threats to health as well as highlighting areas for future development. PMID:24679379

  10. Facilitators, challenges, and collaborative activities in faith and health partnerships to address health disparities.

    PubMed

    Kegler, Michelle C; Hall, Sarah M; Kiser, Mimi

    2010-10-01

    Interest in partnering with faith-based organizations (FBOs) to address health disparities has grown in recent years. Yet relatively little is known about these types of partnerships. As part of an evaluation of the Institute for Faith and Public Health Collaborations, representatives of 34 faith-health teams (n = 61) completed semi-structured interviews. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and coded by two members of the evaluation team to identify themes. Major facilitators to faith-health collaborative work were passion and commitment, importance of FBOs in communities, favorable political climate, support from community and faith leaders, diversity of teams, and mutual trust and respect. Barriers unique to faith and health collaboration included discomfort with FBOs, distrust of either health agencies or FBOs, diversity within faith communities, different agendas, separation of church and state, and the lack of a common language. Findings suggest that faith-health partnerships face unique challenges but are capable of aligning resources to address health disparities. PMID:20696884

  11. Cultural Diversity Among Older Adults: Addressing Health Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haber, David

    2005-01-01

    The diversity of the older adult population is increasing, and health professionals need to learn new knowledge and skills to improve the adherence of older ethnic clients to their health recommendations. Much of the existing research literature on diversity in gerontology concludes that ethnic older adults are at a health disadvantage. Few if any…

  12. Towards an understanding of the relationship of functional literacy and numeracy to geographical health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Moon, Graham; Aitken, Grant; Roderick, Paul; Fraser, Simon; Rowlands, Gill

    2015-10-01

    The relative contributions of functional literacy and functional numeracy to health disparities remain poorly understood in developed world contexts. We seek to unpack their distinctive contributions and to examine how these contributions are framed by place-based deprivation and rurality. We present a multilevel logistic analysis of the 2011 Skills for Life Survey (SfLS), a representative governmental survey of adults aged 16-65 in England. Outcome measures were self-assessed health status and the presence of self-reported long-term health conditions. Exposure variables were functional literacy (FL) and functional numeracy (FN). Age, sex, individual socio-economic status, ethnicity, whether English was a first language, non-UK birthplaces, housing tenure and geography were included as potential confounders and mediators. Geography was measured as area-based deprivation and urban/rural status. FL and FN were both independently associated with self-assessed health status, though the association attenuated after taking account of confounders and mediators. For long-term conditions, the association with FN remained significant following inclusion of confounders and mediators whilst FL attenuated to non-significance. Rurality did not influence these associations. Area deprivation was a significant factor in attenuating the association between FL and self-assessed health status. Policy makers and health professionals will need to be aware of the distinctive impact of FN as well as FL when combating health inequalities, promoting health and managing long-term conditions. PMID:26363450

  13. Inequity in Health Care Financing in Iran: Progressive or Regressive Mechanism?

    PubMed Central

    Rad, Enayatollah Homaie; Khodaparast, Marzie

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Having progressive health finance mechanism is very important to decrease inequity in health systems. Revenue collection is one of the aspects of health care financing. In this study, taxation system and health insurance contribution of Iranians were assessed. Materials and Methods: Data of 2012 household expenditures survey were used in this study, and payments of the families for health insurances and tax payments were extracted from the study. Kakwani index was calculated for assessing the progressivity of these payments. At the end, a model was designed to find the effective factors. Results: We found that taxation mechanism was progressive, but insurance contribution mechanism was very regressive. The portion of people living in urban regions was higher in the payments of insurance and tax. Less educated families had lower contribution in health insurance and families with more aging persons paid more for health insurance. Conclusion: Policy makers must pay more attention to the health insurance contribution and change the laws in favour of the poor. PMID:27551174

  14. Anthropologists address health equity: recognizing barriers to care

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Systems change is necessary for improving health care in the United States, especially for populations suffering from health disparities. Theoretical and methodological contributions of anthropology to health care design and delivery can inform systems change by providing a window into provider and patient perceptions and practices. Our community-engaged research teams conduct in-depth investigations of provider perceptions of patients, often uncovering gaps between patient and provider perceptions resulting in the degradation of health equity. We present examples of projects where collaborations between anthropologists and health professionals resulted in actionable data on functioning and malfunctioning systemic momentum toward efforts to eliminate disparities and support wellness. PMID:27158189

  15. An exploratory multilevel analysis of income, income inequality and self-rated health of the elderly in China

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Zhixin; Wang, Wenfei Winnie; Jones, Kelvyn; Li, Yaqing

    2013-01-01

    In the last three decades, China has experienced rapid economic development and growing economic inequality, such that economic disparities between rural and urban areas, as well as coastal and interior areas have deepened. Since the late 1990s China has also experienced an ageing population which has attracted attention to the wellbeing of the rapidly growing number of elderly. This research aims to characterise province differences in health and to explore the effects of individual income and economic disparity in the form of income inequality on health outcomes of the elderly. The study is based on the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey data collected in 2008 for 23 provinces. Multilevel logistic models are employed to investigate the relationship between income, income inequality and self-rated health for the elderly using both individual and province-level variables. Results are presented as relative odds ratios, and for province differentials as Median Odds Ratios. The analysis is deliberately exploratory so as to find evidence of income effects if they exist and particular attention is placed on how province-level inequality (contemporaneous and lagged) may moderate individual relationships. The results show that the health of the elderly is not only affected by individual income (the odds of poor health are 3 times greater for the elderly with the lowest income compared to those at the upper quartile) but also by a small main effect for province-level income inequality (odds ratio of 1.019). There are significant cross-level interactions such that where inequality is high there are greater differences between those with and without formal education, and between men and women with the latter experiencing poorer health. PMID:23063218

  16. Narratives and Images Used by Public Communication Campaigns Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Christopher E.; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Lundell, Helen C.

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have increasingly focused on how social determinants of health (SDH) influence health outcomes and disparities. They have also explored strategies for raising public awareness and mobilizing support for policies to address SDH, with particular attention to narrative and image-based information. These efforts will need to overcome low public awareness and concern about SDH; few organized campaigns; and limited descriptions of existing message content. To begin addressing these challenges, we analyzed characteristics of 58 narratives and 135 visual images disseminated by two national SDH awareness initiatives: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America and the PBS-produced documentary film Unnatural Causes. Certain types of SDH, including income/wealth and one’s home and workplace environment, were emphasized more heavily than others. Solutions for addressing SDH often involved combinations of self-driven motivation (such as changes in personal health behaviors) along with externally-driven factors such as government policy related to urban revitilization. Images, especially graphs and charts, drew connections among SDH, health outcomes, and other variables, such as the relationship between mother’s education and infant mortality as well as the link between heart disease and education levels within communities. We discuss implications of these findings for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities in the US through narrative and visual means. PMID:23330220

  17. Narratives and images used by public communication campaigns addressing social determinants of health and health disparities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Christopher E; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Lundell, Helen C

    2012-12-01

    Researchers have increasingly focused on how social determinants of health (SDH) influence health outcomes and disparities. They have also explored strategies for raising public awareness and mobilizing support for policies to address SDH, with particular attention to narrative and image-based information. These efforts will need to overcome low public awareness and concern about SDH; few organized campaigns; and limited descriptions of existing message content. To begin addressing these challenges, we analyzed characteristics of 58 narratives and 135 visual images disseminated by two national SDH awareness initiatives: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America and the PBS-produced documentary film Unnatural Causes. Certain types of SDH, including income/wealth and one's home and workplace environment, were emphasized more heavily than others. Solutions for addressing SDH often involved combinations of self-driven motivation (such as changes in personal health behaviors) along with externally-driven factors such as government policy related to urban revitilization. Images, especially graphs and charts, drew connections among SDH, health outcomes, and other variables, such as the relationship between mother's education and infant mortality as well as the link between heart disease and education levels within communities. We discuss implications of these findings for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities in the US through narrative and visual means. PMID:23330220

  18. Infusing Oral Health Care into Nursing Curriculum: Addressing Preventive Health in Aging and Disability

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Joan Earle; FitzGerald, Leah; Markham, Young Kee; Glassman, Paul; Guenther, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    Access to oral health care is essential for promoting and maintaining overall health and well-being, yet oral health disparities exist among vulnerable and underserved populations. While nurses make up the largest portion of the health care work force, educational preparation to address oral health needs of elders and persons with disabilities is limited across nursing curricula. This descriptive study reports on the interdisciplinary development, implementation, and testing of an oral health module that was included and infused into a graduate nursing curriculum in a three-phase plan. Phase 1 includes evaluation of a lecture presented to eight gerontological nurse practitioner (GNP) students. Phase 2 includes evaluation of GNP students' perceptions of learning, skills, and confidence following a one-time 8-hour practicum infused into 80 required practicum hours. The evaluation data show promise in preparing nurse practitioner students to assess and address preventive oral health needs of persons aging with disabilities such that further infusion and inclusion in a course for nurse practitioners across five specialties will implemented and tested in Phase 3. PMID:22619708

  19. Inter-Regional Performance of the Public Health System in a High-Inequality Country

    PubMed Central

    Gramani, Maria Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Previous cross-country studies have revealed a relationship between health and socio-economic factors. However, multinational studies that use aggregate figures could obfuscate the actual situation in each individual region, or even in each individual federal unit, mainly in a developing country that spans a continent and has large socioeconomic inequalities. We conducted a within-country study, in Brazil, of health system performance that examined data in the four perspectives that most strongly affect the performance of public health systems: financial, customer, internal processes and learning&growth. After estimating the interregional health system performance from each perspective, we identified the determinants of inefficiency (i.e., the factors that have the greatest potential for improvement in each region). The results showed that the major determinants of inefficiency in the less efficient regions (N and NE) are concentrated in the perspective of learning&growth (the number of health professionals and the number of graduates with a health-related undergraduate degree) and, in the regions with the best performance (S and SE) the major determinants of inefficiency are concentrated in the financial perspective (spending on health care and the amount paid for hospitalization). PMID:24466201

  20. Case studies on employment-related health inequalities in countries representing different types of labor markets.

    PubMed

    Kim, Il-Ho; Muntaner, Carles; Chung, Haejoo; Benach, Joan

    2010-01-01

    The authors selected nine case studies, one country from each cluster of their labor market inequalities typology, to outline the macro-political and economic roots of employment relations and their impacts on health. These countries illustrate variations in labor markets and health, categorized into a global empirical typology. The case studies illustrated that workers' health is significantly connected with labor market characteristics and the welfare system. For a core country, the labor market is characterized by a formal sector. The labor institutions of Sweden traditionally have high union density and collective bargaining coverage and a universal health care system, which correlate closely with positive health, in comparison with Spain and the United States. For a semi-periphery country, the labor market is delineated by a growing informal economy. Although South Korea, Venezuela, and El Salvador provide some social welfare benefits, a high proportion of irregular and informal workers are excluded from these benefits and experience hazardous working conditions that adversely affect their health. Lastly, several countries in the global periphery--China, Nigeria, and Haiti--represent informal work and severe labor market insecurity. In the absence of labor market regulations, the majority of their workers toil in the informal sector in unsafe conditions with inadequate health care. PMID:20440969

  1. Inter-regional performance of the public health system in a high-inequality country.

    PubMed

    Gramani, Maria Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Previous cross-country studies have revealed a relationship between health and socio-economic factors. However, multinational studies that use aggregate figures could obfuscate the actual situation in each individual region, or even in each individual federal unit, mainly in a developing country that spans a continent and has large socioeconomic inequalities. We conducted a within-country study, in Brazil, of health system performance that examined data in the four perspectives that most strongly affect the performance of public health systems: financial, customer, internal processes and learning&growth. After estimating the interregional health system performance from each perspective, we identified the determinants of inefficiency (i.e., the factors that have the greatest potential for improvement in each region). The results showed that the major determinants of inefficiency in the less efficient regions (N and NE) are concentrated in the perspective of learning&growth (the number of health professionals and the number of graduates with a health-related undergraduate degree) and, in the regions with the best performance (S and SE) the major determinants of inefficiency are concentrated in the financial perspective (spending on health care and the amount paid for hospitalization). PMID:24466201

  2. Oral health in Libya: addressing the future challenges.

    PubMed

    Peeran, Syed Wali; Altaher, Omar Basheer; Peeran, Syed Ali; Alsaid, Fatma Mojtaba; Mugrabi, Marei Hamed; Ahmed, Aisha Mojtaba; Grain, Abdulgader

    2014-01-01

    Libya is a vast country situated in North Africa, having a relatively better functioning economy with a scanty population. This article is the first known attempt to review the current state of oral health care in Libya and to explore the present trends and future challenges. Libyan health system, oral health care, and human resources with the present status of dental education are reviewed comprehensively. A bibliographic study of oral health research and publications has been carried out. The results point toward a common indicator that oral health-related research is low. Strategies have to be developed to educate the medical and dental professionals, to update the current curriculum and enable the system to be competent in all aspects of oral health care management. PMID:24666627

  3. Information technology in health care: addressing promises and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Stanyon, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Health information technology (HIT) and electronic medical records systems are receiving much attention in health care though only a relatively small number of health care organizations and providers have embraced the technology. This article introduces important concepts and definitions and provides the risk manager with key elements to consider when incorporating HIT principles into a proactive risk management program. A checklist is offered to assist in the assessment of electronic records systems. PMID:20200873

  4. The Ethical Imperative of Addressing Oral Health Disparities

    PubMed Central

    Lee, J.Y.; Divaris, K.

    2014-01-01

    Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged population groups. Reducing health disparities has been identified as an ethical imperative by the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health and numerous other national and international bodies. Significant progress has been made over the past years in identifying vulnerable groups, and ‘distal’ factors including political, economic, social, and community characteristics are now considered pivotal. It is thus unsurprising that the remarkable advances in the science and practice of dentistry have not led to notable reductions in oral health disparities. In this review, we summarize recent work and emphasize the need for a solid theoretical framing to guide oral health disparities research. We provide a theoretical framework outlining pathways that operate across the continuum of oral health determinants during the lifecourse and highlight potential areas for intervention. Because oral health disparities emanate from the unequal distribution of social, political, economic, and environmental resources, tangible progress is likely to be realized only by a global movement and concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including policymakers, the civil society, and academic, professional, and scientific bodies. PMID:24189268

  5. Making sense of housing disparities research: a review of health and economic inequities.

    PubMed

    Narine, Lutchmie; Shobe, Marcia A

    2014-01-01

    Despite the recent recession and accompanying housing crisis, important gains have occurred in U.S. homeownership over the past several decades; however, wide inequalities among minority and immigrant populations remain. Understanding the role of several under-studied factors on housing outcomes, including health status and disability, and differences in financial capital, such as savings, investments, and other assets, remains a major policy initiative. Although past research has examined African American-White housing disparities, it is also important to explore disparities among Hispanics, Asians, and immigrants. This article reviews health and financial capital disparities in homeownership and home values between Whites and minority populations and offers suggestions for future policy research. PMID:24188295

  6. Social and Ethical Implications of Genomics, Race, Ethnicity and Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Knerr, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    Objectives To review ethical, ethnic/ancestral, and societal issues of genetic and genomic information and technologies in the context of racial and ethnic health disparities. Data sources Research and journal articles, government reports, web sites. Conclusion As knowledge of human genetic variation and its link to diseases continues to grow, some see race and ethnicity well poised to serve as genetic surrogates in predicting disease etiology and treatment response. However, stereotyping and bias, in clinical interactions can be barriers to effective treatment for racial and ethnic minority patients. Implications for nursing practice The nursing profession has a key role in assuring that genomic healthcare does not enhance racial and ethnic health inequities. This will require utilization of new genomic knowledge and caring for each patient as an individual in a culturally and clinically appropriate manner. PMID:19000599

  7. Gender inequalities in health: exploring the contribution of living conditions in the intersection of social class

    PubMed Central

    Malmusi, Davide; Vives, Alejandra; Benach, Joan; Borrell, Carme

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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). Results 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. Discussion 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. PMID:24560257

  8. Addressing Low Literacy and Health Literacy in Clinical Oncology Practice

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Sofia F.; Hahn, Elizabeth A.; Jacobs, Elizabeth A.

    2011-01-01

    Low functional literacy and low health literacy continue to be under-recognized and are associated with poorer patient health outcomes. Health literacy is a dynamic state influenced by how well a healthcare system delivers information and services that match patients’ abilities, needs and preferences. Oncology care poses considerable health literacy demands on patients who are expected to process high stakes information about complex multidisciplinary treatment over lengths of time. Much of the information provided to patients in clinical care and research is beyond their literacy levels. In this paper, we provide an overview of currently available guidelines and resources to improve how the needs of patients with diverse literacy skills are met by cancer care providers and clinics. We present recommendations for health literacy assessment in clinical practice and ways to enhance the usability of health information and services by improving written materials and verbal communication, incorporating multimedia and culturally appropriate approaches, and promoting health literacy in cancer care settings. The paper also includes a list of additional resources that can be used to develop and implement health literacy initiatives in cancer care clinics. PMID:20464884

  9. Perspectives of "Health" in the Rural Context. Keynote Address.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alfero, Charles

    This paper explores the broad definition of health in the rural context and relates it to policy, practice, and pedagogical challenges in providing access to services in rural areas. Historically, policy, practice, and teaching institutions have supported a dependency model for health service delivery, forcing rural communities to rely on…

  10. Addressing Parental Mental Health within Interventions for Children: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acri, Mary C.; Hoagwood, Kimberly Eaton

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Untreated parent mental health problems have deleterious effects upon the family, yet caregivers are unlikely to receive services for their emotional health. We conducted a review of treatments and services for children and adolescents that also offered services to parents. Methods: Child treatment and service studies were included in the…

  11. Wind vs. Biofuels: Addressing Climate, Health and Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Professor Mark Jacobson

    2007-01-29

    The favored approach today for addressing global warming is to promote a variety of options: biofuels, wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear energy and to improve efficiency. However, by far, most emphasis has been on biofuels. It is shown here, though, that current-technology biofuels cannot address global warming and may slightly increase death and illness due to ozone-related air pollution. Future biofuels may theoretically slow global warming, but only temporarily and with the cost of increased air pollution mortality. In both cases, the land required renders biofuels an impractical solution. Recent measurements and statistical analyses of U.S. and world wind power carried out at Stanford University suggest that wind combined with other options can substantially address global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy needs simultaneously.

  12. Wind versus Biofuels for Addressing Climate, Health, and Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobson, Mark Z.

    2007-01-29

    The favored approach today for addressing global warming is to promote a variety of options: biofuels, wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear energy and to improve efficiency. However, by far, most emphasis has been on biofuels. It is shown here, though, that current-technology biofuels cannot address global warming and may slightly increase death and illness due to ozone-related air pollution. Future biofuels may theoretically slow global warming, but only temporarily and with the cost of increased air pollution mortality. In both cases, the land required renders biofuels an impractical solution. Recent measurements and statistical analyses of U.S. and world wind power carried out at Stanford University suggest that wind combined with other options can substantially address global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy needs simultaneously.

  13. Oral health in Libya: addressing the future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Peeran, Syed Wali; Altaher, Omar Basheer; Peeran, Syed Ali; Alsaid, Fatma Mojtaba; Mugrabi, Marei Hamed; Ahmed, Aisha Mojtaba; Grain, Abdulgader

    2014-01-01

    Libya is a vast country situated in North Africa, having a relatively better functioning economy with a scanty population. This article is the first known attempt to review the current state of oral health care in Libya and to explore the present trends and future challenges. Libyan health system, oral health care, and human resources with the present status of dental education are reviewed comprehensively. A bibliographic study of oral health research and publications has been carried out. The results point toward a common indicator that oral health–related research is low. Strategies have to be developed to educate the medical and dental professionals, to update the current curriculum and enable the system to be competent in all aspects of oral health care management. PMID:24666627

  14. Determinants of and inequalities in self-perceived health in Ukraine.

    PubMed

    Gilmore, Anna B C; McKee, Martin; Rose, Richard

    2002-12-01

    Ukraine is the second most populous of the former Soviet Republics and since transition its economy has fared even more poorly than Russia. Although the impact of the collapse of the former Soviet Union on health in Russia has been investigated, little is known of its impact in other post-Soviet republics. We report a cross-sectional study undertaken in Ukraine in March 2000. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used and 1600 interviews completed (72% response rate) with a representative national sample of Ukrainian adults. We investigated socioeconomic and psychosocial determinants of self-perceived health, which has been shown to be a valid and reliable measure of overall health and predictive of mortality. Odds ratios for less than good physical health were calculated using logistic regression. The self-rated health of Ukrainians was poor, 25% of men and 43% of women rated their health as poor or very poor. This is worse than levels recorded in Russia and considerably worse than levels seen in western Europe. Marked gender, geographical and socioeconomic inequalities in health were recorded. Women are at increased risk of poor self-rated health compared with men (OR 3.58, 2.50-5.14) as are women living in villages compared with those in cities (OR 3.24, 1.30-8.07). Socioeconomic factors including poor material situation (OR 1.64, 1.01-2.67), and psychosocial factors including low control over life (OR 1.89, 1.15-3.11) were identified as independent health determinants. Control over life was found to account for the negative impact of low social position on health. Good family relations protected against poor health. The findings suggest that a decrease in control, arising from an increasingly uncertain political and economic environment, a reduction in material wealth and the stress of change may all have contributed to the decline in life expectancy seen with transition. PMID:12409131

  15. Social inequalities in health within countries: not only an issue for affluent nations.

    PubMed

    Braveman, Paula; Tarimo, Eleuther

    2002-06-01

    While interest in social disparities in health within affluent nations has been growing, discussion of equity in health with regard to low- and middle-income countries has generally focused on north-south and between-country differences, rather than on gaps between social groups within the countries where most of the world's population lives. This paper aims to articulate a rationale for focusing on within- as well as between-country health disparities in nations of all per capita income levels, and to suggest relevant reference material, particularly for developing country researchers. Routine health information can obscure large inter-group disparities within a country. While appropriately disaggregated routine information is lacking, evidence from special studies reveals significant and in many cases widening disparities in health among more and less privileged social groups within low- and middle- as well as high-income countries: avoidable disparities are observed not only across socioeconomic groups but also by gender, ethnicity, and other markers of underlying social disadvantage. Globally, economic inequalities are widening and, where relevant information is available, generally accompanied by widening or stagnant health inequalities. Related global economic trends, including pressures to cut social spending and compete in global markets, are making it especially difficult for lower-income countries to implement and sustain equitable policies. For all of these reasons, explicit concerns about equity in health and its determinants need to be placed higher on the policy and research agendas of both international and national organizations in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. International agencies can strengthen or undermine national efforts to achieve greater equity. The Primary Health Care strategy is at least as relevant today as it was two decades ago: but equity needs to move from being largely implicit to becoming an explicit component of the

  16. Medical technology and inequity in health care: the case of Korea.

    PubMed

    Yang, B M

    1993-12-01

    There has been a rapid influx of high cost medical technologies into the Korean hospital market. This has raised concerns about the changes it will bring for the Korean health care sector. Some have questioned whether this diffusion will necessarily have positive effects on the health of the overall population. Some perverse effects of uncontrolled diffusion of technologies have been hinted in recent literature. For example, there is a problem of increasing inequity with the adoption of expensive technologies. Utilization of most of the expensive high technology services is not covered by national health insurance schemes; examples of such technologies are Ultra Sonic, CT Scanner, MRI, Radiotherapy, EKG, and Lithotripter. As a result, the rich can afford expensive high technology services while the poor cannot. This produces a gradual evolution of classes in health service utilization. This study examines how health service utilization among different income groups is affected by the import of high technologies. It discusses changes made within the health care system, and explains the circumstances under which the rapid and excessive diffusion of medical technologies occurred in the hospital sector. PMID:10131034

  17. Addressing the Changing Sources of Health Information in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Alishahi-Tabriz, Amir; Sohrabi, Mohammad-Reza; Kiapour, Nazanin; Faramarzi, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the entrance of new technologies in health information era, this study aimed to assess changes in health information sources of Iranian people during past decade. Methods: Totally 3000 people were asked about their main sources of health information. They were selected as two community-based samples of 1500 people of more than 18-years-old in two different periods of time in August 2002 and August 2010 from the same locations in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Data analyzed based on age group, sex, educational level and household income in two different periods of time using Chi-square. Odds ratios associated with each basic characteristic were calculated using logistic regression. Results: Most common sources of health information in 2002 were radio and television (17.7%), caregivers (14.9%) and internet (14.2%) and in 2010 were radio and television (19.3%), internet (19.3%) and caregivers (15.8%) (P < 0.001). In 2010, young adults female used television and radio and male used internet as the main source of health information (P = 0.003). In moderate educational level women got their health information from radio and television and caregivers; while men used radio and television and internet as main source of health information (P = 0.005). Highly educated women and men mainly got their health information from internet and radio and television (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Although during 8 years of study radio and television remained as main source of health information but there is an increasing tendency to use internet especially in men. Policymakers should revise their broadcasting strategies based on people demand. PMID:23412519

  18. Health, Wealth and Wisdom: Exploring Multidimensional Inequality in a Developing Country

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nilsson, Therese

    2010-01-01

    Despite a broad theoretical literature on multidimensional inequality and a widespread belief that welfare is not synonymous to income--not the least in a developing context--empirical inequality examinations rarely includes several welfare attributes. We explore three techniques on how to evaluate multidimensional inequality using Zambian…

  19. Global oral health inequalities in incidence and outcomes for oral cancer: causes and solutions.

    PubMed

    Johnson, N W; Warnakulasuriya, S; Gupta, P C; Dimba, E; Chindia, M; Otoh, E C; Sankaranarayanan, R; Califano, J; Kowalski, L

    2011-05-01

    The mouth and oropharynx are among the ten most common sites affected by cancer worldwide, but global incidence varies widely. Five-year survival rates exceed 50% in only the best treatment centers. Causes are predominantly lifestyle-related: Tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, poor diet, viral infections, and pollution are all important etiological factors. Oral cancer is a disease of the poor and dispossessed, and reducing social inequalities requires national policies co-ordinated with wider health and social initiatives - the common risk factor approach: control of the environment; safe water; adequate food; public and professional education about early signs and symptoms; early diagnosis and intervention; evidence-based treatments appropriate to available resources; and thoughtful rehabilitation and palliative care. Reductions in inequalities, both within and between countries, are more likely to accrue from the application of existing knowledge in a whole-of-society approach. Basic research aimed at determining individual predisposition and acquired genetic determinants of carcinogenesis and tumor progression, thus allowing for targeted therapies, should be pursued opportunistically. PMID:21490236

  20. Addressing disparities in maternal health care in Pakistan: gender, class and exclusion

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background After more than two decades of the Safe Motherhood Initiative and Millennium Development Goals aimed at reducing maternal mortality, women continue to die in childbirth at unacceptably high rates in Pakistan. While an extensive literature describes various programmatic strategies, it neglects the rigorous analysis of the reasons these strategies have been unsuccessful, especially for women living at the economic and social margins of society. A critical gap in current knowledge is a detailed understanding of the root causes of disparities in maternal health care, and in particular, how gender and class influence policy formulation and the design and delivery of maternal health care services. Taking Pakistan as a case study, this research builds upon two distinct yet interlinked conceptual approaches to understanding the phenomenon of inequity in access to maternal health care: social exclusion and health systems as social institutions. Methods/Design This four year project consists of two interrelated modules that focus on two distinct groups of participants: (1) poor, disadvantaged women and men and (2) policy makers, program managers and health service providers. Module one will employ critical ethnography to understand the key axes of social exclusion as related to gender, class and zaat and how they affect women’s experiences of using maternal health care. Through health care setting observations, interviews and document review, Module two will assess policy design and delivery of maternal health services. Discussion This research will provide theoretical advances to enhance understanding of the power dynamics of gender and class that may underlie poor women’s marginalization from health care systems in Pakistan. It will also provide empirical evidence to support formulation of maternal health care policies and health care system practices aimed at reducing disparities in maternal health care in Pakistan. Lastly, it will enhance inter

  1. Social Entrepreneurship in Religious Congregations’ Efforts to Address Health Needs

    PubMed Central

    Werber, Laura; Mendel, Peter J.; Derose, Kathryn Pitkin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Examine how religious congregations engage in social entrepreneurship as they strive to meet health-related needs in their communities. Design Multiple case studies. Setting Los Angeles County, California. Participants Purposive sample of 14 congregations representing diverse races-ethnicities (African American, Latino, and white) and faith traditions (Jewish and various Christian). Method Congregations were recruited based on screening data and consultation of a community advisory board. In each congregation, researchers conducted interviews with clergy and lay leaders (n=57); administered a congregational questionnaire; observed health activities, worship services, and neighborhood context; and reviewed archival information. Interviews were analyzed using a qualitative, code-based approach. Results Congregations’ health-related activities tended to be episodic, small in scale, and local in scope. Trust and social capital played important roles in congregations’ health initiatives, providing a safe, confidential environment and leveraging resources from – and for – faith-based and secular organizations in their community networks. Congregations also served as “incubators” for members to engage in social entrepreneurship. Conclusion Although the small scale of congregations’ health initiatives suggest they may not have the capacity to provide the main infrastructure for service provision, congregations can complement the efforts of health and social providers with their unique strengths. Specifically, congregations are distinctive in their ability to identify unmet local needs, and congregations’ position in their communities permit them to network in productive ways. PMID:23875986

  2. Social inequalities in early childhood health and development: a European-wide systematic review.

    PubMed

    Pillas, Demetris; Marmot, Michael; Naicker, Kiyuri; Goldblatt, Peter; Morrison, Joana; Pikhart, Hynek

    2014-11-01

    The evidence examining the relationship between specific social factors and early childhood health and developmental outcomes has never been systematically collated or synthesized. This review aims to identify the key social factors operating at the household, neighborhood, and country levels that drive inequalities in child health and development. Medline and CHICOS (a European child-cohort inventory) were systematically searched to identify all European studies published within the past 10 y. 13,270 Medline articles and 77 European child cohorts were searched, identifying 201 studies from 32 European countries. Neighborhood deprivation, lower parental income/wealth, educational attainment, and occupational social class, higher parental job strain, parental unemployment, lack of housing tenure, and household material deprivation were identified as the key social factors associated with a wide range of adverse child health and developmental outcomes. Similar association trends were observed across most European countries, with only minor country-level differences. Multiple adverse social factors operating at both the household and neighborhood levels are independently associated with a range of adverse health and developmental outcomes throughout early childhood. The social gradient in health and developmental outcomes observed throughout the remaining life course may be partly explained by gradients initiated in early childhood. PMID:25122581

  3. Reconsidering inequalities in preventive health care: an application of cultural health capital theory and the life-course perspective to the take-up of mammography screening.

    PubMed

    Missinne, Sarah; Neels, Karel; Bracke, Piet

    2014-11-01

    While there are abundant descriptions of socioeconomic inequalities in preventive health care, knowledge about the true mechanisms is still lacking. Recently, the role of cultural health capital in preventive health-care inequalities has been discussed theoretically. Given substantial analogies, we explore how our understanding of cultural health capital and preventive health-care inequalities can be advanced by applying the theoretical principles and methodology of the life-course perspective. By means of event history analysis and retrospective data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement, we examine the role of cultural capital and cultural health capital during childhood on the timely initiation of mammography screening in Belgium (N = 1348). In line with cumulative disadvantage theory, the results show that childhood cultural conditions are independently associated with mammography screening, even after childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position and health are controlled for. Lingering effects from childhood are suggested by the accumulation of cultural health capital that starts early in life. Inequalities in the take-up of screening are manifested as a lower probability of ever having a mammogram, rather than in the late initiation of screening. PMID:25470325

  4. 42 CFR 457.805 - State plan requirement: Procedures to address substitution under group health plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false State plan requirement: Procedures to address substitution under group health plans. 457.805 Section 457.805 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STATE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS (SCHIPs) ALLOTMENTS AND GRANTS TO...

  5. Trends in inequalities in utilization of reproductive health services from 2000 to 2011 in Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Duc, Nguyen Huu Chau; Nakamura, Keiko; Kizuki, Masashi; Seino, Kaoruko; Rahman, Mosiur

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study aimed to examine changes in utilization of reproductive health services by wealth status from 2000 to 2011 in Vietnam. Methods: Data from the Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys in 2000, 2006, and 2011 were used. The subjects were 550, 1023, and 1363 women, respectively, aged between 15 and 49 years who had given birth in the previous one or two years. The wealth index, a composite measure of a household’s ownership of selected assets, materials used for housing construction, and types of water access and sanitation facilities, was used as a measure of wealth status. Main utilization indicators were utilization of antenatal care services, receipt of a tetanus vaccine, receipt of blood pressure measurement, blood examination and urine examination during antenatal care, receipt of HIV testing, skilled birth attendance at delivery, health-facility-based delivery, and cesarean section delivery. Inequalities by wealth index were measured by prevalence ratios, concentration indices, and multivariable adjusted regression coefficients. Results: Significant increase in overall utilization was observed in all indicators (all p < 0.001). The concentration indices were 0.19 in 2000 and 0.06 in 2011 for antenatal care, 0.10 in 2000 and 0.06 in 2011 for tetanus vaccination, 0.23 in 2000 and 0.08 in 2011 for skilled birth attendance, 0.29 in 2006 and 0.12 in 2011 for blood examination, and 0.18 in 2006 and 0.09 in 2011 for health-facility-based delivery. The multivariable adjusted regression coefficients of reproductive health service utilization by wealth category were 0.06 in 2000 and 0.04 in 2011 for antenatal care, 0.07 in 2000 and 0.05 in 2011 for skilled birth attendance, and 0.07 in 2006 and 0.05 in 2011 for health-facility-based delivery. Conclusions: More women utilized reproductive health services in 2011 than in 2000. Inequality by wealth status in utilization of antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, and health-facility-based delivery

  6. SHAPING A NEW GENERATION OF HISPANIC CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCHERS ADDRESSING MINORITY HEALTH AND HEALTH DISPARITIES

    PubMed Central

    Estape, Estela S.; Segarra, Barbara; Baez, Adriana; Huertas, Aracelis; Diaz, Clemente; Frontera, Walter

    2012-01-01

    In 2011, research educators face significant challenges. Training programs in Clinical and Translational Research need to develop or enhance their curriculum to comply with new scientific trends and government policies. Curricula must impart the skills and competencies needed to help facilitate the dissemination and transfer of scientific advances at a faster pace than current health policy and practice. Clinical and translational researchers are facing also the need of new paradigms for effective collaboration, and resource sharing while using the best educational models. Both government and public policy makers emphasize addressing the goals of improving health quality and elimination of health disparities. To help achieve this goal, our academic institution is taking an active role and striving to develop an environment that fosters the career development of clinical and translational researchers. Consonant with this vision, in 2002 the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus School of Health Professions and School of Medicine initiated a multidisciplinary post-doctoral Master of Science in Clinical Research focused in training Hispanics who will address minority health and health disparities research. Recently, we proposed a curriculum revision to enhance this commitment in promoting competency-based curricula for clinician-scientists in clinical and translational sciences. The revised program will be a post-doctoral Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research (MCTR), expanding its outreach by actively engaging in establishing new collaborations and partnerships that will increase our capability to diversify our educational efforts and make significant contributions to help reduce and eliminate the gap in health disparities. PMID:22263296

  7. Can Smoking Cessation Services Be Better Targeted to Tackle Health Inequalities? Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackman, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To investigate how smoking cessation services could be more effectively targeted to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in health. Design: Secondary analysis of data from a household interview survey undertaken for Middlesbrough Council in north east England using the technique of Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Setting: Home-based…

  8. Forging a future of better cardiovascular health: addressing childhood obesity.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Charlotte A; Arteaga, Sonia; Loria, Catherine

    2014-02-01

    This paper describes ongoing National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-initiated childhood obesity research. It calls on clinicians, researchers, and cardiologists to work with other healthcare providers, community agencies, schools and caregivers to foster better cardiovascular health in children by intervening on multiple levels of influence on childhood obesity. PMID:24076288

  9. Applied social and behavioral science to address complex health problems.

    PubMed

    Livingood, William C; Allegrante, John P; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O; Clark, Noreen M; Windsor, Richard C; Zimmerman, Marc A; Green, Lawrence W

    2011-11-01

    Complex and dynamic societal factors continue to challenge the capacity of the social and behavioral sciences in preventive medicine and public health to overcome the most seemingly intractable health problems. This paper proposes a fundamental shift from a research approach that presumes to identify (from highly controlled trials) universally applicable interventions expected to be implemented "with fidelity" by practitioners, to an applied social and behavioral science approach similar to that of engineering. Such a shift would build on and complement the recent recommendations of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research and require reformulation of the research-practice dichotomy. It would also require disciplines now engaged in preventive medicine and public health practice to develop a better understanding of systems thinking and the science of application that is sensitive to the complexity, interactivity, and unique elements of community and practice settings. Also needed is a modification of health-related education to ensure that those entering the disciplines develop instincts and capacities as applied scientists. PMID:22011425

  10. Health Education: Addressing the Asian-American Student.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hong, Annann; Hong, Luoluo

    This paper examines the health status of Asian Americans. In introductory sections, the paper looks at: patterns of Asian immigration, myths surrounding Asian Americans as a "model minority," such as the false notion that Asian Americans as a group are always academic and economic achievers despite their minority status; institutional, cultural,…

  11. Assessing Rural Coalitions That Address Safety and Health Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgus, Shari; Schwab, Charles; Shelley, Mack

    2012-01-01

    Community coalitions can help national organizations meet their objectives. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids depends on coalitions of local people to deliver farm safety and health educational programs to children and their families. These coalitions are called chapters. An evaluation was developed to identify individual coalition's strengths and…

  12. Keeping Current. Library Media Specialists: Addressing the Student Health Epidemic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buddy, Juanita

    2005-01-01

    Health and educational leaders are sounding the alarm about the unhealthy condition of many students in America's K-12 schools. Each day, new scientific studies confirm that "The majority of American youth are sedentary and do not eat well. Sixteen percent of school-aged children and adolescents--or nine million--are overweight, a figure that has…

  13. Informal politics and inequity of access to health care in Lebanon

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Despite the importance of political institutions in shaping the social environment, the causal impact of politics on health care access and inequalities has been understudied. Even when considered, research tends to focus on the effects of formal macro-political institutions such as the welfare state. We investigate how micro-politics and informal institutions affect access to care. Methods This study uses a mixed-methods approach, combining findings from a household survey (n = 1789) and qualitative interviews (n = 310) in Lebanon. Multivariate logistic regression was employed in the analysis of the survey to examine the effect of political activism on access to health care while controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status, religious commitment and piety. Results We note a significantly positive association between political activism and the probability of receiving health aid (p < .001), with an OR of 4.0 when comparing individuals with the highest political activity to those least active in our sample. Interviews with key informants also reveal that, although a form of “universal coverage” exists in Lebanon whereby any citizen is eligible for coverage of hospitalization fees and treatments, in practice, access to health services is used by political parties and politicians as a deliberate strategy to gain and reward political support from individuals and their families. Conclusions Individuals with higher political activism have better access to health services than others. Informal, micro-level political institutions can have an important impact on health care access and utilization, with potentially detrimental effects on the least politically connected. A truly universal health care system that provides access based on medical need rather than political affiliation is needed to help to alleviate growing health disparities in the Lebanese population. PMID:22571591

  14. The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions.

    PubMed

    Pinxten, Wouter; Lievens, John

    2014-09-01

    In this article we adopt a Bourdieu-based approach to study social inequalities in perceptions of mental and physical health. Most research takes into account the impact of economic or social capital on health inequalities. Bourdieu, however, distinguishes between three forms of capital that can determine peoples' social position: economic, social and cultural capital. Health research examining the effects of cultural capital is scarce. By simultaneously considering and modelling indicators of each of Bourdieu's forms of capital, we further the understanding of the dynamics of health inequalities. Using data from a large-scale representative survey (N = 1825) in Flanders, Belgium, we find that each of the forms of capital has a net effect on perceptions of physical and mental health, which persists after controlling for the other forms of capital and for the effects of other correlates of perceived health. The only exception is that the cultural capital indicators are not related to mental health. These results confirm the value of a Bourdieu-based approach and indicate the need to consider economic, social and cultural capital to obtain a better understanding of social inequality in health. PMID:25040507

  15. Addressing diversity in adolescent sexual and reproductive health services.

    PubMed

    Laski, Laura; Wong, Sylvia

    2010-07-01

    The social, economic, and biological events that mark adolescence profoundly influence and shape future adult lives. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, education, and other social programs are needed to support young people for a healthy start. As adolescents transition into adulthood, SRH programs and services that have skilled health providers, in combination with other social services including comprehensive sexuality education, can help prevent unwanted pregnancies, maternal mortality and morbidity, as well as sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Programs and services can also provide counseling to prevent sexual violence and abuse and deal with its consequences. Adolescent SRH programs can be more effective if the demographic diversity of this age group is studied. Vulnerable adolescents should be targeted as priority recipients of youth-friendly SRH and other social support services. Data demonstrate that adolescent girls living in rural areas who are not in school and who are often married as children are vulnerable to maternal mortality and morbidity, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, HIV infection, and sexual violence and abuse. Building adolescent capacities and opportunities requires programs that support adolescent social, economic, and health assets so that they can contribute socially and economically to their societies. A healthy adolescent population is critical for low-resource countries, where a rising proportion of the population is under 24 years of age. Recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of SRH programs detailed at the FIGO World Congress in 2009 are discussed. PMID:20423736

  16. Constraints to universal coverage: inequities in health service use and expenditures for different health conditions and providers

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is need for new information about the socio-economic and geographic differences in health seeking and expenditures on many health conditions, so to help to design interventions that will reduce inequity in utilisation of healthcare services and ensure universal coverage. Objectives The paper contributes additional knowledge about health seeking and economic burden of different health conditions. It also shows the level of healthcare payments in public and private sector and their distribution across socioeconomic and geographic population groups. Methods A questionnaire was used to collect data from randomly selected householders from 4,873 households (2,483 urban and 2,390 rural) in southeast Nigeria. Data was collected on: health problems that people had and sought care for; type of care sought, outpatient department (OPD) visits and inpatient department (IPD) stays; providers visited; expenditures; and preferences for improving access to care. Data was disaggregated by socio-economic status (SES) and geographic location (urban versus rural) of the households. Results Malaria and hypertension were the major communicable and non-communicable diseases respectively that required OPD and IPD. Patent medicine dealers (PMDs) were the most commonly used providers (41.1%), followed by private hospitals (19.7%) and pharmacies (16.4%). The rural dwellers and poorer SES groups mostly used low-level and informal providers. The average monthly treatment expenditure in urban area was 2444 Naira (US$20.4) and 2267 Naira (US$18.9) in the rural area. Higher SES groups and urbanites incurred higher health expenditures. People that needed healthcare services did not seek care mostly because the health condition was not serious enough or they could not afford the cost of services. Conclusion There were inequities in use of the different providers, and also in expenditures on treatment. Reforms should aim to decrease barriers to access to public and formal health

  17. Self-reported health and socio-economic inequalities in England, 1996–2009: Repeated national cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Maheswaran, Hendramoorthy; Kupek, Emil; Petrou, Stavros

    2015-01-01

    Tackling social inequalities in health has been a priority for recent UK governments. We used repeated national cross-sectional data for 155,311 participants (aged ≥16 years) in the Health Survey of England to examine trends in socio-economic inequalities in self-reported health over a recent period of sustained policy focus by successive UK governments aimed at tackling social inequalities in health. Socio-economic related inequalities in self-reported health were estimated using the Registrar General's occupational classification (1996–2009), and for sensitivity analyses, the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC; 2001–2011). Multi-level regression was used to evaluate time trends in General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) scores and bad or very bad self-assessed health (SAH), as well as EQ-5D utility scores. The study found that the probability of reporting GHQ-12 scores ≥4 and ≥ 1 was higher in those from lower social classes, and decreased for all social classes between 1997 and 2009. For SAH, the probability of reporting bad or very bad health remained relatively constant for social class I (professional) [0.028 (95%CI: 0.026, 0.029) in 1996 compared to 0.028 (95%CI: 0.024, 0.032) in 2009], but increased in lower social classes, with the greatest increase observed amongst those in social class V (unskilled manual) [0.089 (95%CI: 0.085, 0.093) in 1996 compared to 0.155 (95%CI: 0.141, 0.168) in 2009]. EQ-5D utility scores were lower for those in lower social classes, but remained comparable across survey years. In sensitivity analyses using the NS-SEC, health outcomes improved from 2001 to 2011, with no evidence of widening socio-economic inequalities. Our findings suggest that socio-economic inequalities have persisted, with evidence of widening for some adverse self-reported health outcomes. PMID:26004207

  18. NIH Research Addresses Aging Issues and Disparities in Oral Health | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... JavaScript on. Feature: Oral Health and Aging NIH Research Addresses Aging Issues and Disparities in Oral Health ... NIH Why is it important to have a research focus on older adults? One reason is that ...

  19. Dimensions of gender relations and reproductive health inequity perceived by female undergraduate students in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam: a qualitative exploration

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Increasing evidence indicates that gender equity has a significant influence on women’s health; yet few culturally specific indicators of gender relations exist which are applicable to health. This study explores dimensions of gender relations perceived by female undergraduate students in southern Vietnamese culture, and qualitatively examines how this perceived gender inequity may influence females’ sexual or reproductive health. Methods Sixty-two female undergraduate students from two universities participated in eight focus group discussions to talk about their perspectives regarding national and local gender equity issues. Results Although overall gender gaps in the Mekong Delta were perceived to have decreased in comparison to previous times, several specific dimensions of gender relations were emergent in students’ discussions. Perceived dimensions of gender relations were comparable to theoretical structures of the Theory of Gender and Power, and to findings from several reports describing the actual inferiority of women. Allocation of housework and social paid work represented salient dimensions of labor. The most salient dimension of power related to women in positions of authority. Salient dimensions of cathexis related to son preference, women’s vulnerability to blame or criticism, and double standards or expectations. Findings also suggested that gender inequity potentially influenced women’s sexual and reproductive health as regards to health information seeking, gynecological care access, contraceptive use responsibility, and child bearing. Conclusion Further investigations of the associations between gender relations and different women’s sexual and reproductive health outcomes in this region are needed. It may be important to address gender relations as a distal determinant in health interventions in order to promote gender-based equity in sexual and reproductive health. PMID:23095733

  20. Addressing mental health needs of infants and young children.

    PubMed

    Mayes, L C

    1999-04-01

    Work with infants and young children is a subspecialty of child psychiatry. Special areas of expertise and clinical skills are required for work in this area and even traditional areas of clinical skills--evaluating mental and developmental competency, collaborations with other professionals, synthesizing information for parents--have an added valence when applied to work with very young children. Furthermore, in the last three decades, there has been a remarkable increase in knowledge about the first years of life. Most recently, understanding about early brain development and the complex interactions among biology, environment, and experience in shaping early development has highlighted the critical nature of psychological interventions in the first years of life. Providing mental health services for very young children requires a multidisciplinary approach, and the field has evolved simultaneously in the disciplines of child psychiatry, pediatrics, psychology, social work, neurology, early childhood education, and nursing. With that range of theoretic and professional background, the resulting evaluative approaches and services are also quite diverse. The agenda for the next decade of work is to bring together these multiple viewpoints around critical areas for the development of the field, including improved diagnostic nosology, a better understanding of the number of young children needing services, pathways for accessing those services, and more explicit descriptions of the important features of a mental health intervention for very young children and their families. PMID:10202586

  1. Gender inequalities in occupational health related to the unequal distribution of working and employment conditions: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Gender inequalities exist in work life, but little is known about their presence in relation to factors examined in occupation health settings. The aim of this study was to identify and summarize the working and employment conditions described as determinants of gender inequalities in occupational health in studies related to occupational health published between 1999 and 2010. Methods A systematic literature review was undertaken of studies available in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Sociological Abstracts, LILACS, EconLit and CINAHL between 1999 and 2010. Epidemiologic studies were selected by applying a set of inclusion criteria to the title, abstract, and complete text. The quality of the studies was also assessed. Selected studies were qualitatively analysed, resulting in a compilation of all differences between women and men in the prevalence of exposure to working and employment conditions and work-related health problems as outcomes. Results Most of the 30 studies included were conducted in Europe (n=19) and had a cross-sectional design (n=24). The most common topic analysed was related to the exposure to work-related psychosocial hazards (n=8). Employed women had more job insecurity, lower control, worse contractual working conditions and poorer self-perceived physical and mental health than men did. Conversely, employed men had a higher degree of physically demanding work, lower support, higher levels of effort-reward imbalance, higher job status, were more exposed to noise and worked longer hours than women did. Conclusions This systematic review has identified a set of working and employment conditions as determinants of gender inequalities in occupational health from the occupational health literature. These results may be useful to policy makers seeking to reduce gender inequalities in occupational health, and to researchers wishing to analyse these determinants in greater depth. PMID:23915121

  2. Is attachment style a source of resilience against health inequalities at work?

    PubMed

    Bartley, Mel; Head, Jenny; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2007-02-01

    The argument that 'indirect selection' is a contributory factor to health inequality has included ideas about personal characteristics that may originate in childhood and increase the likelihood of both poor health and disadvantaged social position in adulthood. The concept of protective resilience makes a similar but converse argument: that positive characteristics acquired at one phase of life may enable individuals to withstand later adversity. The increasing richness of data from longitudinal studies now allows us to examine these processes more closely over a longer period of life. In this paper we show that attachment style, a psychological characteristic thought to be associated with the style of parenting encountered during early childhood, may act as a source of resilience in the face of educational disadvantage. Men in mid-life who were not burdened with anxious or avoidant attachment styles seem to have been more likely to overcome the disadvantage of a lower level of educational attainment and progress up the ladder of Civil Service grades in the English Whitehall II study. As it is not strongly related to parents' social class, it can be argued that attachment style has acted as a source of upward social mobility which is also likely to reinforce better health in later life. PMID:17129652

  3. Inequality and changes in women's use of maternal health-care services in Tajikistan.

    PubMed

    Falkingham, Jane

    2003-03-01

    Using recently available survey data for Tajikistan, this study explores changes in the pattern of maternal health care during the last decade and the extent to which inequalities in access to that care have emerged. In particular, the links between poverty and women's educational status and the use of maternal health-care services are investigated. The survey findings demonstrate a significant decline in the use of maternal health-care services in Tajikistan since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. They show changes in the location of delivery and the person providing assistance, with a clear shif