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Latest & greatest articles for inequality
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Key policies for addressing the social determinants of health and health inequities Matthew Saunders | Ben Barr | Phil McHale | Christoph Hamelmann HEALTH EVIDENCE NETWORK SYNTHESIS REPORT 52 Key policies for addressing the social determinants of health and health inequitiesThe Health Evidence Network HEN – the Health Evidence Network – is an information service for public health decision-makers in the WHO European Region, in action since 2003 and initiated and coordinated by the WHO Regional (...) in 2003 through a Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of Italy, the Veneto Region and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Health Evidence Network synthesis report 52 Key policies for addressing the social determinants of health and health inequities Matthew Saunders | Ben Barr | Phil McHale | Christoph HamelmannAbstract Evidence indicates that actions within four main themes (early child development, fair employment and decent work, social protection, and the living environment) are likely
How Social-Class Stereotypes Maintain Inequality Social class stereotypes support inequality through various routes: ambivalent content, early appearance in children, achievement consequences, institutionalization in education, appearance in cross-class social encounters, and prevalence in the most unequal societies. Class-stereotype content is ambivalent, describing lower-SES people both negatively (less competent, less human, more objectified), and sometimes positively, perhaps warmer than (...) upper-SES people. Children acquire the wealth aspects of class stereotypes early, which become more nuanced with development. In school, class stereotypes advantage higher-SES students, and educational contexts institutionalize social-class distinctions. Beyond school, well-intentioned face-to-face encounters ironically draw on stereotypes to reinforce the alleged competence of higher-status people and sometimes the alleged warmth of lower-status people. Countries with more inequality show more
Investigating the impact of the English health inequalities strategy: time trend analysis. Objective To investigate whether the English health inequalities strategy was associated with a decline in geographical health inequalities, compared with trends before and after the strategy.Design Time trend analysis.Setting Two groups of lower tier local authorities in England. The most deprived, bottom fifth and the rest of England.Intervention The English health inequalities strategy-a cross (...) government strategy implemented between 1997 and 2010 to reduce health inequalities in England. Trends in geographical health inequalities were assessed before (1983-2003), during (2004-12), and after (2013-15) the strategy using segmented linear regression.Main outcome measure Geographical health inequalities measured as the relative and absolute differences in male and female life expectancy at birth between the most deprived local authorities in England and the rest of the country.Results Before
Strategies and governance to reduce health inequalities: evidences from a cross-European survey The main objective of the paper is to identify the governance system related to policies to reduce health inequalities in the European regions. Considering the Action Spectrum of inequalities and the check list of health equity governance, we developed a survey in the framework of the AIR Project - Addressing Inequalities Intervention in Regions - was an European project funded by the Executive (...) Agency of Health and Consumers.A web-based qualitative questionnaire was developed that collected information about practiced strategies to reduce health inequalities. In total 28 questionnaires from 28 different regions, related to 13countries, were suitable for the analysis.Progress in health equity strategies at the national and regional levels has been made by countries such as France, Portugal, Poland, and Germany. On the other hand, Spain, Italy, and Belgium have a variable situation depending
Inequalities in non-communicable diseases between the major population groups in Israel: achievements and challenges. Israel is a high-income country with an advanced health system and universal health-care insurance. Overall, the health status has improved steadily over recent decades. We examined differences in morbidity, mortality, and risk factors for selected non-communicable diseases (NCDs) between subpopulation groups. Between 1975 and 2014, life expectancy in Israel steadily increased (...) Arabs than Jews. Smoking prevalence is highest for Arab men and lowest for Arab women. Health inequalities are also evident by the indicators of socioeconomic position and in subpopulations, such as immigrants from the former Soviet Union, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Bedouin Arabs. Despite universal health coverage and substantial improvements in the overall health of the Israeli population, substantial inequalities in NCDs persist. These differences might be explained, at least in part, by gaps
Trends in social inequality in physical inactivity among Danish adolescents 1991â€“2014 The aim of this study was to investigate social inequality in physical inactivity among adolescents from 1991 to 2014 and to describe any changes in inequality during this period. The analyses were based on data from the Danish part of the HBSC study, which consists of seven comparable cross-sectional studies of nationally representative samples of 11-15-year old adolescents. The available data consisted (...) of weekly time (hours) spent on vigorous physical activity and parental occupation from 30,974 participants. In summary, 8.0% of the adolescents reported to be physically inactive, i.e. spend zero hours of vigorous leisure time physical activity per week. The proportion of physically inactive adolescents was 5.4% in high social class and 7.8% and 10.8%, respectively, in middle and low social class. The absolute social inequality measured as prevalence difference between low and high social class did
Inequality and the health-care system in the USA. Widening economic inequality in the USA has been accompanied by increasing disparities in health outcomes. The life expectancy of the wealthiest Americans now exceeds that of the poorest by 10-15 years. This report, part of a Series on health and inequality in the USA, focuses on how the health-care system, which could reduce income-based disparities in health, instead often exacerbates them. Other articles in this Series address population (...) health inequalities, and the health effects of racism, mass incarceration, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Poor Americans have worse access to care than do wealthy Americans, partly because many remain uninsured despite coverage expansions since 2010 due to the ACA. For individuals with private insurance, rising premiums and cost sharing have undermined wage gains and driven many households into debt and even bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the share of health-care resources devoted to care of the wealthy
Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions. Despite growing interest in understanding how social factors drive poor health outcomes, many academics, policy makers, scientists, elected officials, journalists, and others responsible for defining and responding to the public discourse remain reluctant to identify racism as a root cause of racial health inequities. In this conceptual report, the third in a Series on equity and equality in health in the USA, we (...) use a contemporary and historical perspective to discuss research and interventions that grapple with the implications of what is known as structural racism on population health and health inequities. Structural racism refers to the totality of ways in which societies foster racial discrimination through mutually reinforcing systems of housing, education, employment, earnings, benefits, credit, media, health care, and criminal justice. These patterns and practices in turn reinforce discriminatory
Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA. In this Series paper, we examine how mass incarceration shapes inequality in health. The USA is the world leader in incarceration, which disproportionately affects black populations. Nearly one in three black men will ever be imprisoned, and nearly half of black women currently have a family member or extended family member who is in prison. However, until recently the public health implications of mass incarceration were
Population health in an era of rising income inequality: USA, 1980-2015. Income inequality in the USA has increased over the past four decades. Socioeconomic gaps in survival have also increased. Life expectancy has risen among middle-income and high-income Americans whereas it has stagnated among poor Americans and even declined in some demographic groups. Although the increase in income inequality since 1980 has been driven largely by soaring top incomes, the widening of survival inequalities (...) has occurred lower in the distribution-ie, between the poor and upper-middle class. Growing survival gaps across income percentiles since 2001 reflect falling real incomes among poor Americans as well as an increasingly strong association between low income and poor health. Changes in individual risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and substance abuse play a part but do not fully explain the steeper gradient. Distal factors correlated with rising inequality including unequal access
Does gender inequity increase men's mortality risk in the United States? A multilevel analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study A number of theoretical approaches suggest that gender inequity may give rise to health risks for men. This study undertook a multilevel analysis to ascertain if state-level measures of gender inequity are predictors of men's mortality in the United States. Data for the analysis were taken primarily from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study (...) , which is based on a random sample of the non-institutionalised population. The full data set included 174,703 individuals nested within 50 states and had a six-year follow-up for mortality. Gender inequity was measured by nine variables: higher education, reproductive rights, abortion provider access, elected office, management, business ownership, labour force participation, earnings and relative poverty. Covariates at the individual level were age, income, education, race/ethnicity, marital status
Family of origin and educational inequalities in mortality: Results from 1.7 million Swedish siblings Circumstances in the family of origin have short- and long-term consequences for people's health. Family background also influences educational achievements - achievements that are clearly linked to various health outcomes. Utilizing population register data, we compared Swedish siblings with different levels of education (1,732,119 individuals within 662,095 sibships) born between 1934 (...) and 1959 and followed their death records until the end of 2012 (167,932 deaths). The educational gradient in all-cause mortality was lower within sibships than in the population as a whole, an attenuation that was strongest at younger ages (< 50 years of age) and for those with a working class or farmer background. There was substantial variation across different causes of death with clear reductions in educational inequalities in, e.g., lung cancer and diabetes, when introducing shared family factors
The evolution of socioeconomic status-related inequalities in maternal health care utilization: evidence from Zimbabwe, 1994â€“2011 Inequalities in maternal health care are pervasive in the developing world, a fact that has led to questions about the extent of these disparities across socioeconomic groups. Despite a growing literature on maternal health across Sub-Saharan African countries, relatively little is known about the evolution of these inequalities over time for specific countries (...) measure inequalities in maternal health care use using the Erreygers corrected concentration index. A decomposition analysis was conducted to determine the underlying drivers of the measured disparities.The computed concentration indices for professional delivery assistance and prenatal care reveal a mostly pro-rich distribution of inequalities between 1994 and 2011. Particularly, the concentration index [95% confidence interval] for the receipt of prenatal care was 0.111 [0.056, 0.171] in 2005/06
Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Addressing Major Health Inequality Trends for the Nation, 1935-2016 This study describes key population health concepts and examines major empirical trends in US health and healthcare inequalities from 1935 to 2016 according to important social determinants such as race/ethnicity, education, income, poverty, area deprivation, unemployment, housing, rural-urban residence, and geographic location.Long-term trend data from the National Vital (...) Statistics System, National Health Interview Survey, National Survey of Children's Health, American Community Survey, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to examine racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, rural-urban, and geographic inequalities in health and health care. Life tables, age-adjusted rates, prevalence, and risk ratios were used to examine health differentials, which were tested for statistical significance at the 0.05 level.Life expectancy of Americans increased from 69.7 years
Socioeconomic inequality in morbid obesity with body mass index more than 40Â kg/m2 in the United States and England This study evaluated socioeconomic inequality in morbid obesity (body mass index, BMI ≥40 kg/m2) through an analysis of population health survey data in the United States (US) and England (UK).We analysed data for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Health Survey for England for 2011 to 2014. Age-adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were used to evaluate income (...) - and education-inequality.There were 26,898 eligible UK and 10,628 US participants. Morbid obesity was more frequent in women than men, and higher in the US than the UK (men: US, 4.8%; UK, 1.7%; women US, 9.6%; UK, 3.7%). In the UK, morbid obesity showed graded income-inequality in both genders (AOR, for lowest income quintile: men, 1.83, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 2.88; women, 2.18, 1.55 to 3.07), as well as education-inequality (AOR for no school qualifications, men 2.57, 1.64 to 4.02; women, 2.18
Consideration of health inequalities in systematic reviews: a mapping review of guidance. Given that we know that interventions shown to be effective in improving the health of a population may actually widen the health inequalities gap while others reduce it, it is imperative that all systematic reviewers consider how the findings of their reviews may impact (reduce or increase) on the health inequality gap. This study reviewed existing guidance on incorporating considerations of health (...) inequalities in systematic reviews in order to examine the extent to which they can help reviewers to incorporate such issues.A mapping review was undertaken to identify guidance documents that purported to inform reviewers on whether and how to incorporate considerations of health inequalities. Searches were undertaken in Medline, CINAHL and The Cochrane Library Methodology Register. Review guidance manuals prepared by international organisations engaged in undertaking systematic reviews
Explaining racial and ethnic inequalities in postpartum allostatic load: Results from a multisite study of low to middle income woment Racial and ethnic inequalities in women's health are widely documented, but not for the postpartum period, and few studies examine whether neighborhood, psychosocial, and biological factors explain these gaps in women's health.Using prospective longitudinal data collected from 1766 low to middle income women between 2008 and 2012 by the Community Child Health (...) for Latinas compared to Whites.Racial and ethnic inequalities in AL were accounted for largely by household poverty with additional contributions by psychological, economic, neighbourhood and medical variables. There remained a significant inequality between African American, and Latina women as compared to Whites even after adjustment for this set of variables. Future research into health inequalities among women should include a fuller consideration of the social determinants of health including
An agent-based simulation of persistent inequalities in health behavior: Understanding the interdependent roles of segregation, clustering, and social influence Health inequalities are conspicuously persistent through time and often durable even in spite of interventions. In this study, I use agent-based simulation models (ABMs) to understand how the complex interrelationships between residential segregation, social network formation, group-level preferences, and social influence may contribute (...) to this persistence. I use a more-stylized ABM, Bubblegum Village (BV), to understand how initial inequalities in bubblegum-chewing behaviors either endure, increase, or decrease over time given group-level differences in preferences, neighborhood-level barriers or facilitators of bubblegum chewing (e.g., access to bubblegum shops), and agents' preferences for segregation, homophily, and clustering (i.e., the 'tightness' of social networks). I further use BV to understand whether segregation and social network
Increasing inequality in age of death at shared levels of life expectancy: A comparative study of Scotland and England and Wales There is a strong negative correlation between increasing life expectancy and decreasing lifespan variation, a measure of inequality. Previous research suggests that countries achieving a high level of life expectancy later in time generally do so with lower lifespan variation than forerunner countries. This may be because they are able to capitalise on lessons (...) already learnt. However, a few countries achieve a high level of life expectancy later in time with higher inequality. Scotland appears to be such a country and presents an interesting case study because it previously experienced lower inequality when reaching the same level of life expectancy as its closest comparator England and Wales. We calculated life expectancy and lifespan variation for Scotland and England and Wales for the years 1950 to 2012, comparing Scotland to England and Wales when
Inter-individual inequality in BMI: An analysis of Indonesian Family Life Surveys (1993â€“2007) Widening inequalities in mean Body Mass Index (BMI) between social and economic groups are well documented. However, whether changes in mean BMI are followed by changes in dispersion (or variance) and whether these inequalities are also occurring within social groups or across individuals remain understudied. In addition, a substantial body of literature exists on the global increase in mean BMI (...) and prevalence of overweight and obesity. However, whether this weight gain is shared proportionately across the whole spectrum of BMI distribution, also remains understudied. We examined changes in the distribution of BMI at the population level over time to understand how changes in the dispersion reflect between-group compared to within-group inequalities in weight gain. Moreover, we investigated the entire distribution of BMI to determine in which percentiles the most weight gain is occurring over time